YEAC Press Release *III* January 24, 2022

Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), facilitators of Project with Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners (PACOR) for Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta has commended the Federal Government for approving three modular refineries for six states in the region. The group also calls for the establishment of Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI) to innovatively modify and legalize artisanal refining in the Niger Delta similar to the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) in parts of the North and Western Nigeria with a further call for the removal of Cross River State from the pilot phase of the project since it is not an oil-producing state and its inclusion in this phase does not solve the immediate problems that the modular refineries for artisanal crude oil refiners aimed to address.
The group stated this in a press statement released in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and signed by its Executive Director, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface in reaction to federal government’s proposal on January 19 to establish 18 modular refineries, three each in Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Cross River and Rivers States.
The organization said the acceptance of the federal government to establish three Modular Refineries per state is one of the achievements and successes of its advocacy on Modular Refineries because the federal government at the National Summit for the Integration of Artisanal/Modular Petroleum Refineries Operation in Nigeria into the national economy on March 16 and 17, 2021 had insisted on one modular refinery per state but the organization demanded and insisted on three per state which had now eventually been approved and granted by the Federal Government.
Mr. Fyneface said the organization has been carrying out and implementing the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR represented by Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibanjo since 2017 that he promised Modular Refineries as well as Minister of State for Environment, Chief Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor who represented Mr. President at the inauguration of NOSDRA laboratory in Port Harcourt on January 10, 2022 for the formation of cooperative societies for modular refinery licenses with the establishment of three “Modular Refinery Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd” based on three senatorial districts in each state that are now ready and waiting to receive these licenses for the real artisanal refiners in the Niger Delta.
Advocacy Centre that works in all nine states in the Niger Delta among others also calls for the inclusion of Abia, Imo and Ondo States in the next phase of the Modular Refinery scheme and remove Cross River from the pilot. “Cross River is not an oil-producing State. I therefore recommend without prejudice that it should not be part of the pilot (first) phase of the project as announced by the federal government through the Minister of State for Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor. This is because, since the modular refineries are targeted at solving immediate problems associated with ongoing artisanal crude oil refining activities that are not currently taking place in Cross River State, it would be better to keep the state in view and focus on problem states”, the statement reads in parts.
The group thus recommends that in this pilot phase, Abia State where artisanal refining is ongoing in some areas should replace Cross River State while steps should be taken without delays to extend Modular Refineries to Ondo, Imo and Cross Rivers States in the second phase to re-enforce good behaviour, reward the youths and people for not involving themselves in serious pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, artisanal refining and associated environmental pollution including soot.
Advocacy Centre commends Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor, the Minister of State for Environment for her doggedness on the modular refinery scheme adding that as stated in the organization’s letter on her table dated February 14, 2020, YEAC will continually collaborate with her, the Ministry of Environment, other Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the federal government as well as States, local and international development partners and stakeholders to address issues relating to youths and artisanal refining for job creation and environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta.
Executive Director, Advocacy Centre and National Facilitator,
Project with Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners (PACOR) for Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta.