By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA- THE Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (rtd) yesterday said Nigerian engineers have the capacity to build modular refineries in the country.
He stated this when he received a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers in Yenagoa.
The deputy governor noted that building modular refineries and producing equipment and components in the country would go a long way to boost the local content and manpower base of the nation.
He stressed the need to discourage reliance on foreign equipment and materials for the country’s industrial needs and services.
According to him, allowing Nigerian engineers to construct local refineries and other industrial requirements would increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and stimulate the economy.
The deputy governor said he was delighted that the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) had demonstrated the determination to ensure producing in the country and challenged the body to champion the advocacy for safe environment lamenting that Nigerian waters especially in the delta are dangerous due to the massive pollution of the waters.
He said: “We can get things right when we start thinking inwards, and start producing things for ourselves. I agree with you that Nigeria today has the capacity to provide local refineries. When you are producing equipment locally, the amount that you spend increases your GDP but If you procure outside the country, you are adding to the GDP of other countries.
“There are several advantages producing things locally. That’s the only way we can develop ourselves; that is the only way we can create opportunities for the young ones”.
Earlier in his remarks, the National President, Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE), Prof. Sunday Adefila, said their visit was part of activities of the NSChE’s annual general meeting/conference scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers.
He said chemical engineers, who are essentially process engineers, were at the centre of construction of refineries and related facilities using the indices of environment, economic, energy and improved quality as major planks of consideration for such ventures.
Adefila, who described Bayelsa as the seat of Nigeria’s local content giving the large oil and gas deposits in the state’s environment, said “the NSChE can, and is able to do Nigerian refineries,” adding that members of the society are worthy stakeholders and are also available to be used for worthwhile partnerships with the state government.