• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Udom seeks FG’s approval for modular refinery in A/Ibom

Emmanuel lauds INEC over peaceful polls, leads state in thanksgiving

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has solicited the approval of the Federal Government towards the establishment of a modular refinery to make use of the abundant oil and gas resources available in the state.

Emmanuel said that with proposals so far from some investors to do transshipment from the state’s imminent seaport; the Federal Government will be required to grant approvals for modular refineries to avail the industry with a hub for ready supply of aviation fuel.

Speaking when he received the managing director of the oil and gas free trade zone authority, Tijani Kaura in his office in Uyo, the state capital, he congratulated him on his recent appointment to succeed Umana Okon Umana who had been appointed as minister of Niger Delta Affairs.

The governor however, regretted that Akwa Ibom State, despite sitting on about 36.1percent of Nigeria’s oil and gas reserve, has no single investment by the Federal Government to show for it, ranging from the upstream to the downstream sector.

He said that the state has made efforts to set an economic direction for the future and urged the Federal Government to reposition the oil and gas sector to the nation’s advantage.

According to him, “if Nigeria does not make use of the oil and gas now that it is still very relevant to the whole world, in forty years time the pursuit for the development of alternative sources of power would have been realised.”

He explained that his administration’s cardinal programmes have been anchored on developing the three major gateways of air, land and water transportation, asserting that the state, presently, can boast of a dualised thoroughfare from the state capital to the Atlantic ocean, with about 24km dualised bypass to the East West Road from the centre of the state, while planning a major coastal highway to the upcoming deep seaport.

“For air transport, with the only MRO in this part of Africa to be ready for commissioning in about eight weeks and a modern digital terminal building with full compliance to modern safety, security and ICT systems to guarantee ease of doing business within the year, a cargo section will naturally come into existence,” he added.

Read also: Presidency, YEAC partner on modular refinery scheme with artisanal refiners

Reaffirming the state’s readiness for the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone, he said, “We’ve managed to bring in some companies ranging from LNG to Petrochemical. The ammonia and fertilizer plants will also make use of the gas.

“At the end of the day we see that there’s hardly a situation where we can move Nigeria forward that we can ignore gas; even the aluminum smelter company will not have to run on diesel. They’ll also need gas. It’s a web that will weave round and impact various aspects of the economy to make sure things work well.”

Expressing appreciation for the cooperation so far enjoyed by the state government and the agency, he gave renewed assurances of his administration’s commitment to the synergetic relationship, especially in expediting the realisation of the State’s Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone.

“I want to welcome you and say a big congratulation on this appointment. We’ll do everything to give you the maximum cooperation that you need.”

The governor however, made a case for his state to be given pride of place in the allotment of accrued benefits of the nation’s petroleum sector, considering her enormous stakes and contributions to the nation’s economy through the oil and gas sector.

In an earlier remark, the OGFZA MD/CEO, Tijjani Kaura, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his contributions and investment towards the actualization of the Liberty Free Zone in the State.

He described the project as critical to economic booster for the State which has potentials to attract over $22 billion and employ over 100,000 youths.

According to the OGFZA boss, the Liberty Oil and Gas Free Zone is strategically located and on completion will be the largest in the country.

He further appealed for a state based agency to interface with the OGFZA in order to achieve the goals of Free Zone.