The Presidency on Thursday said states in the Niger Delta have started indicating interests in the modular refineries being planned by the Federal Government.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement.
Akande said the indication of interest by the states was one of the highlights of an inter-ministerial meeting on the Niger Delta presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.
He explained that under the plan that is being developed, communities would come together working with their respective state governments, the Federal Government and private sector operators to work out a template for the establishment of modular refineries in the communities.
“We are saying there is a way out of violent agitation, but it is by creating opportunities and the environment where the people in the communities can benefit.
“We will engage them on the basis of trust, we must prove to them that we are trustworthy, “Osinbajo was quoted as saying at the meeting attended by the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Kingsley Otuoro; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uhuru; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu; and Minister of State, Ibrahim Jibril among others.
Akande disclosed that other issues discussed at the meeting included developments on the planning for the Maritime University, update on contractors in the Niger Delta region returning to site and amnesty issues among others.
Later, the Vice-President also held a meeting with representatives of the Gbaramatu Kingdom and investors, under the aegis of the “Oil and Gas Producing Trust Fund,” including prospective investors in a modular refinery project in the community.
At the meeting, Osinbajo noted that the modular refineries to be established will have to be profitable and realistic in order to address critical issues bothering on the development of the region on a sustainable basis.
He added that the Federal Government is committed to addressing challenges in the Niger Delta in a comprehensive manner.
He said, “There are several things that we are working on now on the modular refineries and what government’s own participation is all about.
“We are also trying to work out a template for implementing this decision on modular refineries.
“But we must also structure this in a way that works for business or structure it in a way that is realistic and works, otherwise it would not last. It is a business proposition first and foremost, it must make sense.”