By Mattello Felix Jnr.
The Association of Oil Refiners In Niger Delta, last week, met with His Grand Majesty, King (Dr) A. S. Abam (Ado IX), Amayanabo of Okirika Kingdom, Rivers State, as part of their consultative engagement.
From the delegation of the visit was The National Chairman of the Association,Comrade Godwin Sunday, National Secretary, Comrade, Yowika Emmanuel, The Chapter Chairman of DROAN, Rivers State, Amb. Vincent Gbosi and his Exco members.
In his address, the Chairman delivered warm greetings from Board of Trustees, National Working Committee, and the entire stakeholders of DROAN to His Grand Majesty and thanked Him for the ample opportunity accorded to them to discuss issues of economic and national important as it will reflect on their journey, struggle and achievement in finding lasting solution to the challenges facing the Niger Delta Region. “Identify with you today considering your antecedent and pedigree which we certainly believe will be a boast to this project”, he said.
According to him, “DROAN is an acronym of Domestic Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (a.k.a Artisanal Oil Refiners), a group with the ideology and the primary aim of building, sensitizing, empowering and adding value to the petroleum sector of our economy with the technological power to refine crude, in line with the commitment to eradicate illegal oil bunkering in the creeks of Niger Delta Region. As people we have seen the need to come together and re-aligned ourselves to solve our problems”
He noted that, they are the most threaten human race on earth right now, our waters are polluted and destroy, our ecosystem threatened, our air polluted and our lives threatened by the activities of oil explorations and its attendant effect. Our God given natural resources “the Black Gold” has become a weapon of mass destruction to our environment, aquatic lives and even human lives. The much talked about black sooth that was noticed in the city of Port Harcourt in Rivers State is moving to the other State in the Niger Delta, we are at the verge of a disaster. We are worried simply because this is the goose that lays the Golden eggs that take care of our nation’s economy but being allow to face this inherent dangers, he said.
The Chairman formally used the occasion to appreciate the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari who will not allow the precedent to continue. Also acknowledged and appreciate the efforts of SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs Distinguished Senator Ita Enang who assured them from the onset of their engagement that Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari will not treat them with Levity.
According to him, “We have resolved to work with Government at all levels to achieve its goals, for instance the 2021 Federal Government budget proposal is predicated on Oil production estimate of 1.86 million barrels per day, this can only be achieve on the ground of peace and we can’t have peace on the ground of injustice”
The Chairman acknowledged the capacity of His Grand Majesty and expressed confidence to confide in him that they started the struggle same time with Artisanal Gold Mining in the North, but today the activities of Gold Mining has been integrated into country’s legal, economic and institutional framework.
He made their humble appeal that DROAN should be integrated because what is good for the goose is also good for the gander, as it will amount to injustice if Federal Governments are not paying needed attention to Artisanal Oil Refiners in the South.
He noted that “as Niger Deltans, we believe in action but promise never to go back to our past ways of militancy and pipe line vandalism. It is important to emphasize that the action of our members both on land and in the creek are under the total control of our leadership which we have agreed to stand down every action in regards to economic sabotaged but if further delay by Federal Government, we may not guarantee their actions anymore”, he said.
“We voluntarily came out of our respective creeks and approach the Federal Government on our readiness to be integrated in order to add value to our Nation’s economy, an action which was applauded by the SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, NEITI, NOSDRA, NDDC, PTDF and NNPC which the GMD Dr. Kyari during our engagement, commended our courage and went further to state that such feat has not been experienced in the history of our nation where the major players own up to their activities and are ready to work with government to find lasting solution to the lingering problems of the Niger Delta region. he also pledged the commitment of NPPC and the Federal Government in guarantying the needed facility to establish this project. Our humble appeal has been anchored on those promises and that of Federal Government through the Vice President; Prof. Yemi Osibanjo during the stakeholder’s meeting in Niger Delta”, he said.
Your Grand Majesty, it will interest you to know that in our last engagement with the Federal Government on 18th September, 2020 in Abuja, the following prayers were made:
- That a presidential committee be set up to look into the activities and the demands of the Artisanal oil refiners in the Niger Delta Region;
- That approval be given for the establishment of modular refineries within the Niger Delta region.
- That Government should guarantee the Artisanal Oil Refiners to establish this project.
- That individual and organizations setting up or establishing modular refineries in the region should be encourage to partner with artisanal oil refiners (kpo fire boys) for easy and smooth integration.
Your Grand Majesty, We count on your usual cooperation for human and economic development.
In his reaction, the Grand Majesty thanked the Association for bringing up such vision with good ideals to establish and demand for licence to operate Modular Refinery in the Niger Delta Region.
According to His Majesty, “There is no sensible person in the Niger Delta Region that will not assent to your request”.
He promised the Association for more support and wide consultation with Stakeholders in the State to actualize their vision.