Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the planned integration of artisanal and modular refineries operators into the mainstream of the oil and gas sector by the government would reduce and stabilise prices of petroleum products in the country. Osinbajo gave this assurance yesterday in an address he delivered virtually at a National Summit on the Integration of Artisanal and Modular Refinery Operations in Nigeria.
In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the integration would promote the inclusion of more local contents in the industry and advance the use of home-grown tech-nology in the refining of petroleum products. While calling on stakeholders at the summit to fashion a workable and viable blueprint that will guide and facilitate the integration of artisanal and modular refinery operators, the Vice President said the gains of a seamless integration were enormous.
Osinbajo said: “We are confident that the integration of artisanal and modular refinery operations into the oil and gas sector will curtail illegal oil activities in the Niger Delta regions. “It will also promote the availability of petroleum products, stabilize prices, eliminate shipping costs and provide employment opportunities for the youths in the region and Nigeria in general.
“The resultant proliferation of employment opportunities will also have the effect of curbing youth restiveness which is largely driven by a dearth of socioeconomic opportunity. With most of the youth engaged in productive endeavours, the region will be able to turn a new page in its history. “One of the nagging issues we were confronted with during my tour was how to deal with the proliferation of artisanal refinery and its attendant negative environmental impact. Our solution was to promote the establishment of modular refineries.
“This vision is hinged on the commitment of this present administration to develop the region and ensure that the people of the region benefit maximally from the wealth of their land. Indeed, the New Vision speaks to a progressive partnership between the federal government, state government, private sector, and the local communities.” The summit was convened by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Enang.