It is with great disappointment that I write the Federal government of Nigeria not to backtrack and break its promise to the Niger Delta on modular refinery proliferation. So pleased were we with the promise by the Federal government in the best interest of Nigeria and the Niger Delta region, that ENDS’ official Youtube handle posted the video clip of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo when he reiterated the promise this February [https://youtu.be/ax1nFm2A4d4].
However, reading a latest reversal in the news this month as expressed by minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, our hearts sank. In a scripted statement, the oil minister announced that there will be so much red tape, one can only read that the government was reneging on its promise in effort to crush the hopes of the masses and small entrepreneurs and fill the pockets and secure the investments of the big refinery-building cabal.
We have strongly argued for the government to support modular refineries as a means to two ends: self sufficiency of the people of the Niger Delta and petroleum product security. [See: http://ends.ng/recession-10-steps-to-fix-nigerias-economic-crisis/] The cabal must not always be sole-benefactors of Nigerian government policies, receiving cheap-to-free land typically grabbed from the citizenry and government subsidies including FOREX subsidies, to float their projects while the masses are denied the same, crushed and extinguished with red tape.
It is quite sardonic that as we read in the news of foreign big corp. companies promising to build refineries, that it is the same time we read of the government’s promise to crush the hope of small business modular refineries.
We hereby strongly urge the Buhari administration now led by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, to keep its promise and assist and promote modular refineries across the region with subsidies and government assisted technological interventions to limit environmental pollution were it applies and not deprive the region in the interest of a handful of greedy cabal.
Dr. Perry Brimah; @EveryNigerian