In a bid to intensify manpower development and increase refining capacity for economic prosperity of the Niger Delta region and the nation at large, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has reiterated its commitment to train and empower delegates in such a way that they will be able to set up and manage modular refineries in the Niger Delta, as FG begins measures to integrate the local artisanal modular refineries into the Oil and Gas sector.

This was revealed at a Summit titled, “Integrating Local Artisanal Modular Refineries to Nigeria’s Mainstream Oil Sector; the challenges, prospects, and deliverables for the Niger Delta and Nigeria,” organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Economic Diversification in Abuja on Tuesday.

Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Finance and Projects, Mr. Godwin Ekpo, said that the PAP has begun to take steps to ensure that PAP delegates are trained in related skills that will drive the rapid development of the energy economy in the Niger Delta.

According to Mr. Ekpo, “getting our delegates to participate actively in this artisanal and modular refining initiative will among other things give them a sense of belonging, minimize oil theft, reduce unemployment in the region, minimize pollution and provide pipeline surveillance and eradicate pipeline vandalization.”

In his welcome address, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who was virtually present in the event, stated the benefits of the integration, noting that it will curtail illegal refinery activities within the Niger Delta region.

He went on to say that the Federal Government is committed to facilitating the integration of artisanal and modular refinery operations into the Oil and Gas sector, and that several modular refineries in different states across the Niger Delta region have reached various stages of completion and were awaiting licensing.

According to Prof Osinbajo, the integration of artisanal and modular refinery operations into the Oil and Gas sector will curtail illegal activities in the Niger Delta region and provide employment opportunities for the young people in the region and Nigeria in general.”

Col Dikio (rtd) who commended the organizers of the summit, said that the Programme has trained over 3000 delegates in fabrication, pipeline and underwater welding, petroleum technology and engineering.

He cited one of the successes the PAP – Bradama International Skill Works Ltd in Agadagba Obon, Ondo State, a training facility owned by an ex-agitator, Peter Bibopere Ajube aka Gen. Shoot – At – Site, who has successfully trained and employed delegates in fabrication and steel works, pipeline welding and so on, also noting the Amnesty Vocational Training Facility also in Agadagba, Ondo State, which specializes in oil and gas activities as part of its initiatives to build manpower in the region.

Recall that one of the intentions of Late President Musa Yar’Adua in setting up the PAP was to get the monies invested in the programme to circulate within the region through massive manpower development and patronage of businesses located in the Niger Delta. This was meant to increase the buying power of the people and drive investment while mitigating the security issues at the same time. The PAP leadership is committed to restoring this mandate of the Programme to its original intent.

Nneotaobase Egbe

SA Media to the Interim Administrator,

Presidential Amnesty Programme

17 – 03 – 2021

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