IPMAN Lauds Reps Over Move to Legalize Artisanal Petroleum Refining

November 13, 2023
Artisanal Petroleum Refining

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has lauded the House of Representatives over the move to give legal backing to artisanal petroleum refining in the country.

The group said this is in order to encourage the growth of local industries, services, and technologies in the oil and gas sector.

This is as the House will soon begin the debate on a bill aimed at establishing a National Agency for Artisanal Petroleum Refining in the country, which would formalize existing and prospective petroleum artisans involved in petroleum-producing areas in Nigeria into cooperative societies and merge their operations to gain the benefits of economies of scale.

The proposed National Agency for Artisanal Petroleum Refining (Establishment) Bill, 2023, sponsored by the Minority Leader, Mr Kingsley Chindah (Rivers State), aims to provide a regulatory framework and programme for the construction and operation of artisanal refineries in Nigeria and for related matters.

Reacting to the development, IPMAN explained that artisanal refining activities were the highest employer of labour in the Niger Delta region, and it requires the due attention of the federal government.

IPMAN Chairman in Rivers State, Mr Joseph Obele, who affirmed the support of his association with the bill, said the Reps’ Minority Leader, Mr Chindah, will be the hero of Niger Delta if he can lobby his colleagues in the House into passing the bill to become a law.

Mr Obele said legalizing artisanal refineries will eliminate pipeline vandalism and the attendant environmental degradation as well as improve the air quality in the Niger Delta, which was contributing to health challenges witnessed in the region.

He said, “It is good news to the people of Niger Delta and millions of youths involved in artisanal oil refinery business. When the Bill is passed into law, the artisanal refining operations will be trained, reformed, licensed and packaged into a legitimate business activity.

“The three negative elements in the artisan refining process are the health factor, the environmental factor and the criminal factor. There is no market where crude oil is sold in drums, yet our boys often get it in large quantities. It is criminal and the bill will open a market that will eliminate the criminal factor.

“Establishing a retail market of crude oil will stop the stealing of crude oil as the operators will be buying it legitimately.

“We are also positing that the federal government should partner with both local and foreign engineering firms to customize small-size crude oil catalytic cracking refineries for our boys known as Micro-Unit Refineries (MRU).

“By that, the troubling Port Harcourt soot which is the health factor will end, as artisan refining with firewood or tyres shall be no more following the fact that the micro-unit refineries will be powered with electricity.”

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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