Bayelsa Times

Bayelsa government condemns call for the legalization of artisanal refinery

Nationwide News Niger Delta
Peace Tamuno, Yenagoa.
The Bayelsa state has  condemned the call for legalization of illegal refining of petroleum products by some youths in the state stressing that the host communities of Nigeria and gas has  a strategic role to play in the ongoing sensitization efforts of government to discourage youths involved in the act.
 Speaking  on Monday when HOSCON  members paid a visit to the deputy governor of the state Lawrence Ewrudjakpo in Yenagoa, he  charged them  to complement government efforts in sensitizing people of the Niger Delta, particularly the youths on the environmental and health hazards associated with illegal bunkering and refining of crude oil.
 Ewhrudjakpo in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Doubara Atasi, explained that, apart from the deleterious health effects caused by artisanal refining of crude oil, the menace also constitutes grave economic sabotage to the country and Bayelsa State in particular.
He further pointed out that illegal oil refining popularly known as “kpo fire” has claimed several lives, and therefore, called on the youths to resist the temptation of going into such criminal and hazardous activities.
He advised the pressure group to take it as an essential duty to educate the communities on how best to demand their rights from oil companies operating in their areas using legal means, instead of being unnecessarily confrontational.
Responding to the group’s requests, especially on the passage of the BYSOPADEC Bill pending before the State House of Assembly,  Ewhrudjakpo urged HOSCON to leverage on its over 1,200-community membership capacity to prevail on the Assembly to pass the bill into law.
The deputy governor, however, promised to convey their demands for a Toyota coaster bus and the award of contract jobs to HOSCON to enable the body raise capital for  business purposes in the state, to Governor Douye Diri for consideration.
In his presentation, the chairman of HOSCON, Bayelsa chapter,  Samson Dabbey-Graham said the visit was to formally introduce the new executive members to the deputy governor and explore areas of collaboration with government.
Dabbey-Graham who pledged HOSCON’s readiness  to work closely with government, pleaded with the prosperity administration to empower the association with contract jobs to enable it raise funds to start a palm oil mining factory in the state.

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