Urge FG to implement Artisanal/Modular Refinery report

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

STAKEHOLDERS in the management of oil and gas have stressed the need for a review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974 and other relevant laws to accommodate the establishment of artisanal refineries.

The stakeholders also harped on the need for the Federal Government to consider and approve the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the National Summit on the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Refinery Operations into the In-Country Oil Refining Programme of the Oil and Gas Sector.

These were part of the resolutions reached at the end of the emergency stakeholders meeting convened by the Office of the presidency through the Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang in Abuja.

The emergency meeting was called to address the soot and other environmental pollution caused by artisanal refining activities in Rivers State and other Niger Delta States.

The meeting which was at the instance of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, amongst others.

A communique issued at the end of the meeting read in part;
“That there is the need for the Federal Government to consider and approve the implementation of the recommendations of the report of the National Summit on the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Refinery Operations into the In-Country Oil Refining Programme of the Oil and Gas Sector held at Sheraton Hotels And Towers Abuja, on 16th and 17th March 2021 to address the issues of environmental pollution amongst others.

“That there is the need for various Organizations that have the crude oil refining technology to interact with Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulation Authority (NMDPRA) in order for them to make presentations on their available technologies, for regulations within the law.

“That the team should further engage with the bodies of artisanal refining representatives for the purpose of reviewing the current state of affairs and proffer solution to the environmental and economic challenge, amongst others.

“That engagement be made with the Governors and Governments of impacted states as well as other sub-national structures for further solution to the challenges, to curb re-pollution by the models adopted by the sub-nationals.

“That there is the need for the review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974 and other relevant laws to accommodate the establishment of artisanal refineries.

“That there is the need for the creation of a database of those trained in related fields by the presidential Amnesty Programme, as well as of Petroleum Training Institute, Warri (PTI), Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Petroleum Technology Development Trust Fund (PTbF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and other relevant Institutions to harness their expertise.

“That there is the need to explore the possibility of funding the pilot scheme from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nigerian Midstream Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Windows, amongst others.”

The communique also said that there is the need to follow the road map for the implementation of the Artisanal Oil Refining Programme to avoid a return to the situation currently being addressed.

The stakeholders commended the Ministers of Environment
Petroleum Resources (State), Finance, Budget and National Planning and Niger Delta Affairs.

They also appreciated the
Director General/Chief Executive: National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), the Commission Chief Executive, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and the Chief Executive, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority. (NMDPRA).

The communique was signed six persons including Senator Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President Niger Delta Affairs who was the convene, Idris Musa, Director General/Chief Executive, NOSDRA, Director, Environmental Assessment Department/ Federal Ministry of Environment, Director, Upstream Department,
Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Director/Pollution Control and Environmental Health Department, Federal Ministry of Environment
ODEM, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Senior Planning Officer, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, (MFBNP)..

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