By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Former Governor of Delta State and senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta South Senatorial District, Mr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has called on the Nigerian authorities to look for better ways to handle to issue of illegal refineries in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of the country.
In a post via his verified Facebook page, the medical doctor turned politician argued that considering issuing an operating license to owners of these local refineries would boost the nation’s economy.
“About 6,000 illegal refineries operational in the country, were reportedly destroyed by the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in 2015.
“Some of these refineries were actually glorified rickety science projects. There is likelihood that there will be a good number of well set up refineries among them.
“The illegal refinery industry has been around for years and has grown. Can a country that is struggling to operate its four legal refineries afford to destroy illegal refineries?
“The poorly set up makeshift contraptions are dangerous and should be done away with, but the youths should be engaged in proper refineries.
“This is the origin of the call for the upgrade of the so-called illegal refineries, and if possible, they should be licensed.
“The illegal refineries that are being destroyed offer a lot of employment to the youths.
“Is the government not simply short-changing the country with the sustained posturing and grandstanding of describing the local refineries in the Niger Delta as illegal and criminalizing their operations?’’ the former governor disclosed.
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