Ijaw youths on Wednesday rejected the Federal Government’s proposal on the establishment of modular refineries in Niger Delta.
The youths under the aegis of Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo-led Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide, said allowing only two refineries in each state would not stop oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
Speaking at the Ijaw House in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Pereotubo appealed to the government to relax its preconditions for securing refinery licenses in the region.
He said the terms listed by the federal government were capable of taking the establishment of the refineries beyond the reach of Niger Delta people.
Flanked by members of his executive council, the IYC boss insisted that two modular refineries per state were “grossly inadequate” and would not stop illegal oil bunkering.
He also argued that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that the Niger Delta states would “host” the refineries was laced with ambiguities.
He said the word “host” was synonymous with the current realities in rural communities where oil blocs were allocated to non-indigenes to the detriment of their hosts.
“I am not aware that we have up to two Ijaw sons with oil blocs, yet we have oil. People who own them do not know the colour of crude oil. The federal government must give Niger Delta people oil blocs,” he said.
He declared that the government must ensure that modular refineries were owned, managed and operated by Niger Delta people.