Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja
Niger Delta youths under the umbrella of the Niger Delta Youths for Peace and Economic Development (NDYPED) has called on the federal government to fulfill its promise to legalise and implement the ‘modular refineries’ in the region as promised by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The youths added that such would fast-track the country moving out from economic recession as well as tackle oil theft.
The group stated this in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mr. Jonathan Ikpidi, at the end of its meeting at the weekend.
According to the group, “The federal government urgently needs to fulfill its promise of legalising modular refineries and begin its implementation as it will help reduce the quantity of imported petroleum products.
‘’Today Kerosene is sold for over N400 per litre, but if modular refineries are in place, it could go for as low as N50 per litre. Even diesel that is sold for over N200 per litre can be sold for below N100 per litre.’’
The group also stated that the implementation would assist in reducing the current high rate of unemployment in the country, create a lot of income for both the citizens and the government as the federal government will have to register and licence companies that will operate these refineries and also pay tax to the government.
“It will also create job opportunities for our teaming youths, especially fresh Chemical and Petroleum graduates. This will be an avenue for them to research and experiment to improve on local refining of petroleum products.
‘’If the government fulfills its promise, it will also help it to increase its revenue base. The citizens will also benefit a lot as this will create employment for the youths, and aid research programme I refining petroleum products,” the group further said.
On the issue of security and peace in the Niger Delta, the group stated that the legalisation of modular refineries would bring peace and stability to the Niger Delta as most of the unemployed youths would be gainfully employed and therefore have no reason or excuse to be violent or carry out violent activities against the government or oil facilities.
The group added: “If this lofty idea is implemented, there will be peace and stability in the Niger Delta as most of the youths who are into crimes will be gainfully employed with a sense of belonging and responsibility. This crisis and violence in the region today is as a result of lack of development and unemployment.
‘’Oil theft and bunkering will become a thing of the past. If we must put an end to oil theft and bunkering, then we all must support this great idea of modular refineries as it will not only discourage oil theft and bunkering, but it will also bring innovations and ways of safe guarding our national treasury.
‘’We must let the federal government know that if this policy is legalised and implemented, Nigeria will be the major beneficiary just as the youths and the people of the Niger Delta will also greatly benefit from it.”