Diesel Crisis: Urgent imperative of revitalizing proposed modular refineries project in the Niger Delta
By GbaramatuVoice Editorial Board
GbaramatuVoive views as irony the fact that Niger Delta region is the crude oil and gas mainstay of the country and partly that of the global community, yet, there exists energy crisis in the country resulting from skyrocketed price of diesel.
It is not in any way a good commentary on the part of the Federal Government that a product such as diesel, which powers, and provides the energy demands of all the sectors of the country particularly as the nation’s electricity sector has remained erratic, comatose and epileptic could be allowed in a space of two months or thereabout to gallop from N350 per litre to N800.
Aside from posturing the Federal Government as a bunch that is not listening and non responsive to the plight of the helpless and hapless Nigerians, the development has forced many companies especially those in the financial sector to adjust downward their operating period. And except something theatrical is done to arrest the situation, it will lead to massive loss of jobs by Nigerians in ways that will compound the already saturated unemployment situation in the country which currently stands at an all time high of 33%.
This is unacceptable.
More than anything else, the current situation has confirmed as true the newspaper’s earlier believe that the greater ‘chunk’ of diesel produced and circulated in the country in the last 3years were majorly from the local refining centers that hitherto littered the Niger Delta region.
If not, how come the shortage of, and astronomical increase in price of diesel hits the country at about the same time when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), awarded pipeline Surveillance Contract to the Gbaramatu kingdom born High Chief Government Oweizide Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo. It cannot, in the newspaper’s view be a coincidence – a contract which he is executing excellently.
While the newspaper praises Tompolo for the excellent delivery on the mandate so far, and call on NNPCL management to consolidate this new found relationship, GbaramatuVoice however, draws the attention of the Federal Government on the urgent need to revamp and revitalize the now abandoned modular refinery project in the Niger Delta region initiated by the Federal Government some years ago of which the nation’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinjo led series of delegations to, and held several meetings with stakeholders from the Niger Delta region to see through to the initiative.
What led to the sudden and reckless abandonment of that laudable initiative by the Federal Government remains a mystery?
Such abandonment becomes even more frustrating when one remembers that these local refiners have the capacity for mass production but lacks the financial muscle needed for large scale production.
As a media organization, GbaramatuVoice can attest that there was a time when major oil marketing companies in the country were without shame coming to buy refined diesel from these local refiners.
In view of the above fact, the newspaper calls on the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Federal Government by extension to take positive steps that will assist identify, train, empower and integrate these local refiners into modular refining arrangement.
While that is being done, the Newspaper demand that NNPCL, as part of its strategic/long term plan hasten the process of revamping and resuscitation of the nation’s major refineries that are currently moribund.
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