Image result for katsina refinery
The Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) says it has become
a recurrence decimal on the part of federal government coming up with different
means in finding alterative source of oil for the country so that the Niger-delta
crisis would not affect them.
According to the group, this desire is what has
been driving exploration activities in the Chad basin, and now the Katsina refinery
project

In a statement made available to journalists,
the spokesperson of the group Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe accuses federal government of planning to abandon
the Niger-delta and at the same time sending conflicting signal. Pathetically, this is the signal; “if you must know; what the the government is
doing now is to go to other countries, this time, Niger Republic, to pipe its
crude oil into Katsina with a view of building a refinery. We are watching. The
refineries we have in the Niger Delta have not been rehabilitated, and are
being starved of funds, and we don’t know where we are going, but, I can tell
you that the Niger Delta will resist any attempt to sell the refineries in Port
Harcourt or Warri to themselves. We will not allow these public assets to be
sold to individuals,” he said.
Image result for katsina refinery
Chief Anabs Sara-Igbe told
newsmen that  government may allude to insecurity as a
possible reason for not encouraging the establishment of new refineries in the
Niger Delta, argued that ironically, the Federal Government has never made any
concrete effort to pacify the people of the Niger Delta, and may now have resorted
to encouraging investment outside the region as a means to arm-twist the
region.
The PANDEF spokesperson also took a swipe at the
federal ministers of Niger Delta extraction, whom he accused of pursuing their
personnel interests at the detriment of the region, stressing that it was
disheartening that the region’s sons who hold strategic ministerial positions
have decided to abandon, downplay their region’s interest.
“Who is the minister of state for petroleum
resources? In whose table did they sign the contract? Where is he from? Is he
not from the Niger Delta? Who is the Minister of Transportation? Is he not from
the Niger Delta? If your representatives are there and they don’t act, who are
you going to blame? You can see that the Minister of State for Petroleum was
excited that he has done something great. You saw the excitement on his face
when he was signing those documents,” he added.
Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU,
however, Kachikwu said: “We hope that as the project goes over the next two
years, we will probably have more feed-stock to power a much bigger refinery,”
he said.
Already, a steering committee, chaired by the
minister, and a senior level joint technical team, with a December 2018
deadline for the unveiling of a roadmap for the project has been constituted.
His word: “The study will tell us what are
involved; the technical and financing details. We have mentally structured our
mind to a two-year time frame, but it depends on what we find at the end of the
technical study.”
The minister hinted that there is potential for
extending the refinery to Kaduna bearing in mind that “the Katsina Refinery
started first from wanting to build a pipeline from Niger Republic to the
Kaduna Refinery. At the board of NNPC we shut that down because the asset
quality of the crude from Niger was not the same as our quality of crude.
“So, we decided to do a refinery that is
targeted at the quality of their crude because the shorter the distance, the
shorter the pipeline and the smaller the cost required for construction. So,
that was the basis for the selection of the state. Kaduna State has shown a lot
of interest and the state government supports the powering of a refinery in
Kaduna.”
Kachikwu explained that the estimated cost of
the plan would only be known when the technical study is ready.
“So far, it is very attractive, the Nigerien
government is very supportive just like we are. We are going to be having
engineering and investment plans over the next few weeks and that would
determine the level of interest, but so far, we have received about 30
applications.”
On security challenges in the region, Kachikwu
stated that the country would not achieve anything meaningful if it fails to
try.
He said: “if we bother about insecurity we are
not going to make progress. Security issues are there, we will deal with them.
Niger hasn’t faced much of a security issue in terms of finding its crude, the
distance in the pipeline corridor is going to be short and hopefully,
technology will bury it sufficiently for it not to be an issue.”

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