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Diaspora Nigerians embrace modular refinery project, set aside $2bn for take off



Diaspora Nigerians embrace modular refinery project, set aside $2bn for take off

In response to the Federal Government plans to license modular refineries to accommodate illegal refineries dotting the creeks of the Niger Delta region before end of the second quarter of 2017, some Nigerians in diaspora have indicated interest to invest in the venture.

In a recent comment on the issue, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, reiterating government’s commitment towards achieving the modular refinery objectives.

He said it would go a long way in reducng tension in the Niger Delta region, adding, that it would, in addition to averting crude oil theft, support the economic growth of the people of the region.

It was learnt that based on the policy thrust, many Nigerians abroad had, since Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, mooted the idea of the refinery, in his historic tour of the Niger Delta in early March, 2017, been flooding both the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with inquiries.

Some of the would-be investors were sighted at the relevant offices in early April, trying to confirm the requirements for establishing this model of refineries in Nigeria.

One of them, a United States-based businessman, Mr Charles Ihaza, told newsmen on Thursday that he and other diaspora Nigerians had put up about $2bn to establish a modular refinery.

He disclosed further that when all the necessary paperworks had been completed and license issued, Edo State would be the first to have such a facility.

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He confirmed that one of the major factors in the refinery business is land, “We have acquired about 453.9 hectares of land to establish a modular refinery in Eghudu, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo.”

Speaking at a Forum organised on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the proposed refinery in Benin, Edo State, Ihaza said the $2bn budgeted for the project would be the initial cost, while other unforeseen costs were yet to be added.

According to him, the refinery will at its full production capacity add about 80,000 barrels of refined petroleum products daily to what Nigeria has.

On why the refinery is to be sited in a rural setting, he said it is to discourage urban migration that has seen youths drifting to urban centres at the expense of the rural areas.

Earlier, Mr Larry Edosomwan, who presented the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report on behalf of the consultants, Vokosen Ltd., said that the report had captured all the socio-economic needs of the host community.

He said the investors into the venture had met all the requirements of the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Mr Joshua Taiwo, spokesman of the Ministry of Environment, who stood in for the Minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, confirmed that the investors had been given all necessary conditions for establishing such a project, adding that the brand of refinery will provide jobs for rural dwellers.



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