- A Niger Delta group is excited about plans of the Buhari administration to fix the Port Harcourt refinery
- The group noted that the move will generate employment for the Niger Delta people and increase economic activities in the region
- The group also commended the minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva for his efforts in the oil sector
A group under the aegis of South-South Emerging Leaders Forum (SELF) has expressed happiness over the approval of $1.5 billion (about N600 billion) by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery.
The forum described the news as exciting even as it commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of state for petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Thursday, March 18, and signed by its national coordinator Barrister Benjamin Kolowei, the forum said fixing the refinery will positively impact the economic activities in the south-south region.
SELF also expressed confidence that apart from improving economic activities in the region, the commencement of the project will create massive direct and indirect employment for the people.
Part of the statement read:
“Our forum received the news to fix the Port Harcourt refinery with great joy. The move shows the commitment of the current administration to tackle the challenges facing our oil sector head-on.
“We believe that if the refinery starts operating at its capacity, it will improve a lot of economic activities in the south-south region especially and the country at large will benefit from the project.
“Specifically, there will be employment not only for the people of the region but Nigerians generally.
“We are happy that the administration has taken a bold step not only to fix the refinery but the operations and maintenance, which are the major issues are considered in the approval.”
While commending the president and the Federal Executive Council for the approval, SELF singled out the minister of state for petroleum for:
“His dedication, commitment, hardship, and vision to bring about a turn-around in the Nigerian oil industry.”
Recall that SELF recently warned against media reports aimed at tarnishing the image of senior government officials of the Niger Delta region.
The forum specifically frowned at the conduct of the publisher of an online medium, Jackson Ude, who is based in the United States of America.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng on Monday, February 15 by the secretary of the forum, Dr. Preye Johnson, the group asked Ude to prove his recent allegation against Chief Sylva and the executive secretary of the Nigerian Local Content Board Engr. Simbi Wabote.
Meanwhile, Chief Sylva has been appointed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as its special envoy for further consultations with the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) participating countries.
The DoC is a charter that provides a platform to facilitate dialogue and exchange views regarding conditions and developments in the global oil and energy markets.
Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.