Expert demands modular refineries for Niger Delta communities 

*A boat-load of suspected stolen crude being transported by illegal oil bunkerers

Mkpoikana Udoma

Port Harcourt — A security expert, Commodore Nesiama Omatseye (Rtd), has called on the Federal Government to commence the process of establishing modular refineries that will be managed by groups and communities in the Niger Delta region.

Omatseye, who accused security agents of colluding with oil thieves, alleged that there was no illegal oil bunkerer involved in oil theft in the country, that was not known to operatives of the Nigerian Navy.

The retired Navy officer, contesting for a seat in the Senate in Delta South under the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP,  in the 2023 election, stated these at the Niger Delta Economic Discourse Series, organised by the Gbaramatu Voice in Warri, said modular refineries would create jobs for youths in the region.

According to him, hostility in the region began due to deprivation and neglect of the people, as individuals saw opportunity in the weaknesses of the government, which also involved outsiders and the international community.

He said: “Deprivation and neglect led to activism and the call for resource control. In the same vein, the neglect of the environment also led to what the government called sabotage.

“But in the actual sense of the word, it was not sabotage, rather, the people saw opportunity in the weakness. Those trained but without jobs became more creative, this led to the establishment of modular refineries.

“As Aide-de-camp to the Former Military Administrator of Abia state, I recommended that modular refineries be established in the region as it is more compact and easy to manage. I also made this submission before relevant authorities for the Niger Delta region but the report was turned down.

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“There is need for modular refineries with Niger Delta characteristics. A working group should be created to develop how that comes about and there is a lot of intelligence input that should go into it.

“There is an urgent need for employment generation for the youths of the Niger Delta region through the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”

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