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General News of Wednesday, 27 April 2022


Approve local refineries to boost Nigeria's revenue - Senate tells FG

Nigerian Senate Nigerian Senate

The Senate on Wednesday urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to encourage the establishment of local refineries to avoid further disasters in the Niger Delta and boost Nigeria’s revenues.

The Senate’s resolution was sequel to a point of order raised by Senator Rochas Okorocha representing Imo West Senatorial District. 

Okorocha, had while relying on Order 42 of the Senate Standing Order, 2022 as amended, during plenary, drew the attention of his colleagues to the recent death of 110 persons.

He said the deceased lost their lives following an explosion at the site of an illegal refinery in Abaezi community, Ohagi-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State on Friday, April 22, 2022.

He said the tragic incident had thrown the state into mourning.
The lawmaker then called on the federal government to consider a legislation to provide for local technology for artisanal and modular refinery considering the gap in Nigeria’s refining capacity.

Corroborating the submissions of Okorocha, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, underscored the need for local refining of petroleum products to boost the nation’s revenue.

He called on the federal government to take prompt action through the introduction of regulatory policies to prevent disasters associated with the illegal refining of crude oil in Nigeria.

Lawan said: “We cannot in any true sense benefit in a practical way from the oil and gas resources we have in Nigeria if we don’t add the value of refining it.

“Of course, we know what it means as at today, even though crude oil sells for higher, but because we have to import the refined products, the increase in price at the international market does not seem to confer any advantage to our country.

“So, that speaks volumes that we have to refine our petroleum products in Nigeria if we would have to enjoy the benefits of an endowment like that.

“[And] for Nigerians who get engaged and involved in this kind of illegal refining activities, I think government will have to take action.

“It is for government to come to a decision on how we should be able to deal with this illegal activities.

“On one hand, we may encourage private participation. In fact, that is the best way to go. But illegal refining again, at the moment, is causing a lot of damage to our country.

“So, it is a very dicey situation, but we have to utilise the ingenuity of our citizens who are creative and innovative, but in a much regulated way, so that we don’t experience these kind of disasters.”

The Senate, thereafter, observed a minute silence to mourn the victims of the explosion in Imo State.

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