An Ijaw youth leader in Delta State, Mr. Mike Itima, has urged the Federal Government to sell crude oil to local refiners in the Niger Delta and collect tax, instead of killing their knowledge.
Itima, who spoke to Vanguard on phone, said: “None of the country’s oil refineries is currently refining petroleum, yet the government has not deemed fit to bring together the local refiners and fashion the best way for them to improve petroleum products production.”
” Why kill the ideas of local refiners; why not gather the operators, discuss and know the ways to improve what they are doing in the larger interest of the country?
“I appeal to High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo- Agege, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to incorporate local crude oil refiners in the oil industry.
“These local crude oil refiners are refining crude oil at the lowest cost, government should find an avenue to sell crude to them to refine because no government refinery is working. The local refinery will help the nation to maximize advantage in the current regime of high oil prices.
“If Zamfara state can mine its natural resource, gold, then the federal government should also sell crude oil to the people of Niger Delta to operate their locally fabricated refineries and pay taxes on monthly basis.
“The money they use to settle the navy, army civil defence, police and communities is enough for them to buy crude oil to operate their locally fabricated refineries, ” he said.