OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has asked the relevant regulatory authorities to grant licenses for the establishment of modular refineries and support their establishment in Nigeria.

Similarly, House further urged the federal government to forthwith review the 52 licenses granted to the modular companies to enable them function maximally without any hindrance or have them withdrawn if not functional.

These and many other resolutions were adopted during plenary session on Tuesday when the lawmakers  considered a motion of urgent national importance brought by Unyime Idem representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency, Akwa lbom State.

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Leading debate on the motion, ldem noted that section 44 (3) and item 39 Schedule II of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) vests the control and management of natural resources and hydrocarbon operations on the federal government for the common good and benefit of the citizens.

He also explained that the economy of Nigeria has over the years been premeditated and totally dependent on oil from the Niger Delta Region (NDR) of the country.

He however raised concern that the NDR has over the years been plagued by the activities of illegal oil refineries at the detriment of the lives of residents and the economy of the country. These activities have compounded the age-long problem of environmental pollution and degradation caused by the seismic and exploration activities of the multinational oil companies operating in Niger Delta; contributing to the dramatic changes in the weather pattern being experienced in the region.

Additionally, he said “these illegal activities have sabotaged economic activities of residents of the area, caused severe health hazards on citizens, robbed the country of critical revenue, and aggravated the problem of pollution in the region.”

ldem decried the plight of the people in the NDR citing soot from the smoke as hazardous to human system.

“The soot currently suffered by citizens and residents of Rivers State and the environs in the last three years, as a result of incomplete burning of organic matter by these illegal refineries is worrisome.

“It is particularly disappointing that some security agencies and some influential individuals have been alleged of complicity in the activities of these illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region of the Country.”

The House unanimously passed the motion when the question was put by the presiding officer, Femi Gbajabiamila, as majority of lawmakers present voted in favour of the motion.

However, these are the other resolutions reached during consideration of the matter, including that the House “mandates the Inspector General of Police and other relevant security agencies to immediately clampdown on the activities of these illegal refineries in the Niger Delta Region of the Country and prosecute those found culpable.

“Mandate the Federal Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Environment to urgently develop and implement modalities to clear off the soot currently experienced in Rivers State and other parts of the Niger Delta Region.

“Mandate the House Committees on Police Affairs, Navy, Army, Defense and Interior to investigate the alleged involvement of security agencies in the illegal oil refining in the Niger Delta Region of the Country.

“Mandate the relevant House Committees to ensure compliance and report back to the House in six weeks”.

Recall that the House, in 2017, lamented the issue of illegal refineries which cost Nigeria the sum of N11billion in a period of three years.



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