Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on Thursday in Benin City said the Federal Government is already processing applications received for the establishment of seven modular refineries in the state, adding that three of the applications have reached the approval stage.
Kachikwu disclosed this during the Stakeholders’ Engagement and Enlightenment Campaign in Niger Delta states, organised by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in collaboration with the Edo State Government, which held in Benin City.
Kachikwu who announced the constitution of a committee to identify development needs within the state, comprising representatives of the Federal Government, State Government, NDDC and security agencies, which will be headed by the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq, said the Federal Government was working to bring development to the Niger Delta region through the Modular Refineries Initiative, Gas Flare Commercialisation programme and collaboration with oil-producing states, on the Amnesty programme.
He said the establishment of modular refineries is driven by the private sector, adding that the designs, analysis and engineering work for three of the refineries have been done.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, said the meeting was to sensitise the people on federal government’s on-going initiatives in the region after earlier visits to the region.
Usani said the federal government was reviewing the amnesty programme to capture those who were not included earlier in the scheme.
Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki said the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has not lived up to its duties, noting that the commission has failed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state on the reconstruction of the Benin-Abraka Express Road.
The governor called for a yearly stakeholders’ meeting to revive development by the federal government in the state.
“Oil is located in 33 communities in three local government areas in the state, which include, Ovia North East, Orionmwon and Ikpoba Okha. We want to organise the oil-producing council areas into clusters and work with the federal government to help us with the physical planning and gap analysis to evaluate the progress of development in the councils,” Obaseki said.
Also present at the stakeholders’ meeting were delegates from the three oil-producing local government areas in the state, who called for the provisions of health care centres, modular refineries, good roads and the inclusion of their youths in the amnesty programme, among others.