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Okowa makes case for modular refineries


senator ifeanyi okowa

By Olanrewaju Oyedeji


The search for definitive solutions to the nation’s fuel refining troubles has encouraged Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to advocate the establishment of mini refineries to decrease the level of pipeline vandalism in the country.

According to Governor Okowa, establishing mini refineries in different areas of the Niger Delta area would ensure that the 450, 000 barrels of crude oil meant for local consumption are refined locally.

The Governor who was speaking when the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Prof. Akii Ibhadode paid him a courtesy call yesterday (20/08/15) at Asaba, emphasised that all avenues to reduce illegal refining of petroleum products and pipeline vandalism must be harnessed.

He said, “we look forward to having effective and efficient mini refineries so that our people will be better encouraged to follow due process in refining petroleum products, rather than vandalizing our pipelines and seek to get crude from the local provisions that NNPC provides on a daily basis for refining”.

Senator Okowa added “am aware that at the moment about 450,000 barrels are supposed to be left locally for the purpose of refining, but because we have not been able to attain an efficient process of refining our products, they will not be able to approach NNPC in any manner to be part of the companies that utilize the 450,000 barrels”.

The Governor who commended FUPRE for its efforts towards producing mini refineries, asserted, “it is good to hear that the University of Petroleum Resources is doing something towards having micro and mini refineries, unfortunately, our people approached the whole process of crude refining in a crude manner and rather than getting the crude oil from appropriate sources, they have undertaken to vandalising our pipelines and that has not helped us as a state, it has not helped us as a nation and we pray every day that our people will be a little bit more understanding and realise that even if they want to go through the act of downstream development sector, it should be through legal means.”

Governor Okowa used the occasion to challenge institutions of higher learning in the country to ensure that their products are technically equipped to be self-reliant, decrying situations where students are after “paper certificate rather than acquiring technical skills.”

He assured management of FUPRE of government assistance to enable them to function effectively, observing that the country was facing economic challenges as a result of the dwindling revenue from oil and gas sector.

Earlier, Prof. Ibhadode commended Governor Okowa for the giant strides recorded by his administration within the few months of his being in office saying that the visit to his office was to intimate him of the activities of FUPRE which include the development of micro refineries that are effective and can be used in different locations of the country


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