ADVOCACY CENTRE SENSITIZES ARTISANAL REFINERS, FORMS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES FORMUDULAR REFINERIES IN AKWA-IBOM STATE
Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) on Friday, April 23, 2021 organized training and sensitization program for artisanal refiners and stakeholders in Uyo, the Akwa-Ibom State capital. The program was also used to update artisanal refiners on latest developments around artisanal refining, Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI) demanded since July 26, 2020, formation of Modular Refinery Co-operative Society for Artisanal Refiners proper as well as the March 16 and 17, 2021 National Summit on the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Petroleum Refineries Operations in Nigeria organized by the Federal Government.The participants who were drawn from the three senatorial district of the State were sensitized with gamut of materials and they took time to ask questions and got responses from the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface who facilitated the training program. The Akwa-Ibom State Coordinator, Oliver Jude thanked Advocacy Centre and its Executive Director for the good works and advocacy being done to address issues around artisanal refining and associated environmental pollution through alternative livelihoods for artisanal refiners who contribute to the environmental degradation in the State.Mr. Jude informed the Coordinator and participants that the three Modular Refinery Co-operative societies for the State had been successfully registered. Also speaking, the Rivers State Advocacy Officer and one of the representatives of Advocacy Centre to the National Summit for the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Petroleum Refineries Operations in Nigeria in Abuja shared experiences from the summit with artisanal refiners in Akwa-Ibom State and urged them to support the initiative and stop artisanal refining for Modular Refinery as alternative livelihood opportunities. Over 50 participants participated in the program. A representative of the Akwa-Ibom State government from the Ministry of Rural Development and Co-operative Society was also present at the event to sensitize members of the Co-operative on some rules and regulations. The advocacy in Akwa-Ibom State continued on April 24, 2021 with live appearance on Redemption, 101.5FM, Abak. It was the continuation of sensitization and part of the “ENVIRONMENTAL AND ALTERNATIVE LIVELIHOODS FOR ARTISANAL REFINERS CONSOLIDATION ADVOCACY TOUR OF STATES IN THE NIGER DELTA” which started in March 2021 from Rivers to Delta and Bayelsa States on different radio and TV Stations. As usual on this media tour, the Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) and Regional Facilitator of “Platform for the Coordination of Niger Delta Artisanal Refiners for Modular Refineries”, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface spoke on a wide spectrum of issues including the Formation of Cooperative Societies for Modular Refineries, “Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI)” as Advocacy Centre’s proposal for the Niger Delta similar to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) in parts of the North and Western Nigeria. The artisanal refiners, stakeholders and good people of Akwa-Ibom State were also sensitized on environmental pollution, human and environmental rights as well as the just concluded “National Summit for the integration of Artisanal/Modular Refineries into Nigeria Economy” organized by the Federal Government with our participation in Abuja on March 16 and 17, 2021 and the prospects it has for Artisanal Refiners in the region as well as other issues around environment, livelihoods and socioeconomic development in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.The secretary of the Akwa-Ibom State Modular Refinery Co-operative Societies as well as the Rivers and Akwa-Ibom States Coordinators and Advocacy Officers of ADVOCACY CENTRE, Jude Oliver and Isaac Opiriyabo joined the Executive Director of YEAC in the activities and radio program in Akwa-Ibom State to sensitise the youths, women and the general public on these issues.