The Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC),said the move by the Federal Government to integrate artisanal refiners into mainstream refining would address oil theft, illegal refining and environmental pollution in Niger Delta Region.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt at the weekend by Executive Director of YEAC, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, he noted that the step was in response to its demand for the establishment of Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI).
He said PACORDI was similar to the Presidential Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) in the Northern and Western parts of the country that earlier integrated illegal gold mining into the national economy.
Fyneface, however, commended the Federal Government over the proposed national summit aimed at integrating artisanal and modular petroleum refiners into the national economy.
The Guardian recalled that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Ita Enang and other stakeholders had on Wednesday March 10, announced that it would hold a national summit on artisanal and modular petroleum refineries on Tuesday, March 16 and Wednesday, March 17 in Abuja.
The group urged the Federal Government to consider moving the summit to the Niger Delta to address the issues, as most of the artisanal refiners that the summit would benefit were not only afraid to travel to Abuja for fear of arrest over their illegal activities, but also lacked adequate resources to fund attendance of the summit in Abuja.
The group described the National Summit as ‘well-conceived,’ noting that although it was coming late, it would, however, address some environmental issues in the Niger Delta region.