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ROUNDTABLE ON “THE PROMOTION OF MODULAR REFINERIES IN NIGERIA” ORGANIZED BY NIGER DELTA ENVIRONMENT & RELIEF FOUNDATION (NIDEREF) IN COLLABORATION WITH CENTRE FOR GAS, REFINING & PETROCHEMICALS, INSTITUTE OF PETROLEUM STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT
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A REPORT
ROUNDTABLE ON “THE PROMOTION OF MODULAR REFINERIES IN NIGERIA” ORGANIZED BY NIGER DELTA ENVIRONMENT AND RELIEF FOUNDATION (NIDEREF) IN COLLABORATION WITH CENTRE FOR GAS, REFINING AND PETROCHEMICALS, INSTITUTE OF PETROLEUM STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT ON TUESDAY 9TH OF DECEMBER 2014 AT EMERALD ENERGY INSTITUTE FOR PETROLEUM AND ENERGY ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT.


Niger Delta Environment and Relief Foundation (NIDEREF) in collaboration with Centre for Gas, Refining and Petrochemical, Institute of Petroleum Studies (IPS) University of Port Harcourt, organized a roundtable on “Promotion of Modular Refineries in Nigeria.” This event was in pursuance of the advocacy for the realization of one of the key recommendations in the NIDEREF-RAIN research report titled “Private Gain, Public Disaster: Social Context of Illegal Oil Bunkering and Artisanal Refining in the Niger Delta” publicly presented on 30th of September, 2014.


While declaring the roundtable open, Professor J.A. Ajienka stated that the roundtable was sequel to the research report cited above. He praised the efforts of Ben Naanen and his colleague, Patrick Tolani for producing such vital report. Speaking further, he stated that the Niger Delta had been a viable economic region since the era of the trade in forest products. However, he regretted the recent developments of oil theft and other associated social menace that had negatively affected the economic progress of the region are inconceivable but hoped that a forum such as the roundtable could make definite change for a better society in the long run. He decried unsustainable mining activities in the Niger Delta however, he maintained that for justice sake illegal artisanal refiners in Niger Delta be given opportunities in modular refineries so that the work can be properly done and the environment protected. This, according to him is proper since illegal mining is even a norm in other parts of Nigeria.


In his keynote address during the roundtable, Professor Ben Naanen, NIDEREF Trustee and lead author of report recounted the background of the socioeconomic situations that prompted the call for the promotion of modular refineries in Nigeria. He made allusions to the recommendations in the NIDEREF-RAIN report on oil theft in Niger Delta. According to him, one of the key recommendations was the establishment of modular refineries as one of the solutions to illegal artisanal refining-related socioeconomic crises in Nigeria. While not associating himself with the call to validateillegal artisanal refining since the petroleum act has not been amended to that effect, he suggested that the nation can leverage on the existing skills of the artisanal refiners in a regulated modular refinery system.He also, pointedly made a case for investment in other sectors of the economywith the oil revenue for enduring economic progress in Nigeria. He prayed that the outcome of discussions would lead to realization of project goal.


Speaking at the event, one of the lead discussants, Dr Joe Ellah, Former Group General Manager, Corporate Planning and Development, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, stated that the realization of modular refineries largely depends on such factors as: policies that would enable potential private investors have access to crude oil, adequate product pricing that will encourage investors; necessary incentives that gives comfort to crude oil producers; and building a relationship between community-based refinery and source of crude oil. Moreover, he dispelled the reservations of many participants that such refineries could complicate prevailing negatively impacted environment by stating that,modular refineries would be environmental friendly as it would involve the process of waste treatment. In the view of Professor Godwin Igwe, the Director, Gas, Refining and Petro-Chemicals, Institute of Petroleum Studies, University of Port Harcourt, another lead discussant, modular refineries are better options in an environment that experience product scarcity. According to him, it is flexible, creates employment and also provides support for other operations passage of local content law.


At the end of roundtable, participants unanimously agreed thatmodular refinery is a sustainable option because the current production level is not adequate for Nigerians andproduct distribution network is problematic. They also affirmed the importance of economic diversification, policy shift that will give prospective investors access to crude oil as well as create conducive environment for business; public enlightenment for better understanding of the workings and benefits of modular refineries; modifying of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) to expunge obnoxious provisions that could inciteconflictamong stakeholders at implementation; integrating the illegal artisanal refiners into the modular system and regulated refining that poses minimal danger to the environment. The civil society, the academia; development experts; and all participants were encouraged to persuade the government to speedily make and carry out policies in favour of modular refineries in Nigeria.


Present at the event were the academia, political leaders, development experts; the media; western diplomats, civil society organizations and stakeholders in the oil and gas industries.

 

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Mission Statement
To mitigate poverty and conflict in the Niger Delta through good governance and the sustainable management of the region's environment and natural resources.

Office: No 6 Rumuchakara Close, Choba, Port Harcourt

Email : info@nideref.org

Telephone: 08112096344

Vision Statement
 A Niger Delta that enjoys prosperity through good governance,
sustainable management and equitable distribution of the proceeds of the
region’s environment and natural resources.

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