ADVOCACY CENTRE INAUGURATES DELTA STATE MODULAR REFINERY MULTI-PURPOSE CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES FOR ARTISANAL CRUDE OIL REFINERS
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 inaugurated Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies for artisanal crude oil refiners in Delta State and presented them to to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government for Licenses. The event which held at the DSC Steel Town 2 conference hall had artisanal crude oil refiners who have repented to embrace the Modular Refineries proposed by the Federal Government in attendance. Other participants include dignitaries and representatives of the Delta State Government, Department of Petroleum Resources, retired Professors, traditional rulers, Ijaw Youth Council Women Leader and clergymen among others.
Clever Donokoromor speaking at the event
Welcoming guests and declaring the event open, the host, Clever Donokoromor who is also the President of the Delta South Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd and pioneer Chairman of Delta State Association of Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies expressed happiness that efforts of Advocacy Centre training, sensitizing them as artisanal crude oil refiners as well as forming them into co-operative societies for modular refineries has brought the movement to provide alternative livelihoods for artisanal crude oil refiners this far. Clever welcomed the participants and dignitaries to the program and particularly appreciated the representatives of ministries, departments and agencies of both the State and Federal Government for honouring invitation to attend the event.
Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, Executive Director, Advocacy Centre speaking at the program
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface welcomed the participants and invited guests to the event which he described as “…the outcome of many years of advocacy at Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC)”. Fyneface said “We have gotten this far with the supports and partnerships with both local and international development partners, organizations, institutions and individuals like you driven by the need to collectively contribute in support of government efforts to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta through Modular Refineries as proposed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in February 2017 during his tour of the region”. He said “Over the years, we have sensitized many artisanal and ex-artisanal crude oil refiners across the Niger Delta. We have also trained them on guidelines for the establishment of Modular Refineries. We created databased of some artisanal and ex-artisanal crude oil refiners in the region through both forms circulated in communities and short code 33811 messages from their phones as launched on December 10, 2019 in Rivers State”.
Fyneface the President’s call for the registration of artisanal crude oil refiners “…while inaugurating National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) laboratory in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on January 10, 2020 represented by the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor”, “strengthened our work and efforts in the mobilization of artisanal refiners across the Niger Delta with more youths voluntarily abandoning the act, joined the Modular Refinery Movement and embracing the Government-Proposed Modular Refineries for job creation and environmental sustainability in the region”. He further said YEAC in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic in in 2020 proposed to the Federal Government to establish a “Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI)” for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta similar to the “Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI)” in parts of the North and Western Nigeria. He commended the Federal Government that on March 16 and 17, 2021 organized the National Submit for the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Petroleum Refinery Operations in Nigeria into the economy at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja which ADVOCACY CENTRE was invited to participate. Speaking about the challenges encountered on the journey to the achievements so far leading to the inauguration, Fyneface said “We have had funding challenges. We have had some friends and partners who tried to betray us while some others threatened us that this project ideas belonged to them-one of which is being addressed in a Rivers State High Court in Suit No. PHC/1057/CS/2021 where we have gone to seek redress”. He listed the co-operative societies for inauguration and presentation to the Federal Government to include; Delta North Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd; Delta Central Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd and Delta South Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Ltd and call on all artisanal crude oil refiners in Delta State to stop the act, join these Co-operative Societies for transition to Modular Refineries. He also call on the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, the State Government, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and all other Senators, House of Representative Members, Delta State House of Assembly Members as well as traditional rulers and all well-meaning individuals and the general Delta State public to give these Co-operative Societies and their leadership all the supports necessary for them to succeed in their mission to have Modular Refinery Licenses, construct the Modular Refineries with less environmental pollution tendencies, create jobs for the youths and contribute to solving Nigeria’s energy crisis with reduction in the importation of petroleum products among many others.
Prof. Aso Andrew and others at the event
In his goodwill message, Prof. Aso Andrew expressed happiness to Advocacy Centre over the efforts so far put into the process of organize the artisanal refiners into co-operative societies for modular refineries as alternative source of income from what they are currently doing which contributes to environmental pollution. He called on artisanal refiners who are yet to identify and register with the co-operative societies to do so. Also speaking, the Women Leader of Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Tina Tobusi said the women are most impacted by the negative environmental impacts of the activities if artisanal crude oil refiners. She said women in the Niger Delta join their male counterparts to fish on the river, pick periwinkle and other seafoods which most have them are now extinct due to pollution from both artisanal refiners and multinational oil companies and appreciated YEAC for job well done and urged the artisanal refiners including women in the value chain to embrace the initiative of modular refinery for alternative livelihood by registering to be members of the co-operative societies.
Mrs. Ovuowo Ufuoma of the Ministry of Commence and Industry of the Delta State Government speaking at the event commended the artisanal refiners and YEAC. She said as those who registered the co-operative societies, the government congratulates them and urged the leadership to ensure compliance with government regulations in their operations and whishes the platforms well as they progress with their mission to provide alternative livelihoods opportunities to their members through Modular Refineries
Mrs. Ovuowo Ufuoma of the Ministry of Commence and Industry of the Delta State Government speaking at the event.
The high-point of the program was the inauguration of the three co-operative societies and Delta State Association of Modular Refinery Multi-Purpose Societies and presentation to the Federal Government in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. In the open letter, Mr. Fyneface chronicles to the President, steps so far taken by both his government and Advocacy Centre to address the issues, reminded the President of his promised of modular refinery licenses for artisanal crude oil refiners and called on his to establish, in addition, a “Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI)” for artisanal crude oil refiners in the Niger Delta.