The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has rejected the Federal Government’s offer to allow two modular refineries per state in the Niger Delta.
A factional President of the IYC, Oweilaemi Pereotubo, said on Wednesday that the move was incapable of halting oil theft in the region.
Pereotubo, who spoke during a press conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, also called for the relaxation of the preconditions for getting licences for operating the facilities, noting that the terms were capable of taking the establishment of the refineries beyond the reach of the Niger Delta people.
He insisted that two modular refineries per state were ‘grossly inadequate’ and would not stop illegal oil bunkering and other criminalities in the region.
Pereotubo also argued that the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that the Niger Delta states would ”host” the refineries was ambiguous.
He explained that using the word ”host” was synonymous with what obtains at present in the region where oil bloc is given to all sorts of people outside the region, whereas the Niger Delta is only acting as ”hosts without benefits.”
Pereotubo stated, “I am not aware that we have up to two Ijaw sons with oil bloc, yet we have oil. People who own them do not know the colour of crude oil. The Federal Government must give Niger Delta people oil blocs.
”The Federal Government must ensure that modular refineries are owned, managed and operated by the Niger Delta people.