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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Stakeholders suggest measures to address Niger Delta soot pollution

Critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sector rose from an emergency meeting in Abuja with far reaching resolutions to address the soot and environmental pollution caused by artisinal refining activities in the Niger Delta.

Niger Delta soot
Soot pollution in Port Harcourt, Rivers State

The meeting, which was convened by Sen. Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, called on the Federal Government to consider and approve the implementation of the report of the National Summit on Integration of Artisinal/Modular Refinery Operations into the oil refining programme of the sector.

It also stressed the need for various organisations that have crude oil refining technology to interact with Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulations Authority to enable them make presentations on their technology.

The forum further canvassed engagements with the bodies of artisanal refining representatives in order to review the current state of affairs and proffer solutions to the environmental and economic challenges in the region.

The stakeholders also suggested that further engagements be made with governors and governments of impacted states as well as subnational structures on tackling current challenges.

The forum called for the review of the Petroleum Refining Regulations of 1974 and other relevant laws to accommodate the establishment of artisinal refineries.

It also called for the establishment of a data base of those trained in related fields by the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Petroleum Training Institute, Warri and Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun.

Others to be included in the data base are those trained by the Petroleum Technology Development Trust Fund and Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

The forum suggested the possibility of funding the pilot scheme through the Central Bank, Petroleum Technology Development Fund and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board among others.

It also canvassed the need to follow the road map for the implementation of the Artisanal Oil Refining Programme.

The forum had representatives drawn from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs as well as Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Others were from National Oil Spill Detection Detection and Response Agency, Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

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