Reps caution military against destroying illegal refineries

FILE PHOTO: An illegal refinery

The House of Representatives has urged the military to desist from destroying illegal refineries in the country and adopt a global and a more standard system of dealing with it.

The lawmakers made the call on Wednesday after adopting a motion by Chidi Wihioka (Rivers-APC) on the need to address the menace of hazardous soot causing panic in Port Harcourt.

In the motion, Mr. Wihioka said that burning of the illegal refineries was partly responsible for the soot challenge.

Mr. Wihioka said soot could cause a wide array of health challenges to humans.

In his contribution, Deputy Speaker of the House, Yussuf Lasun, said that burning illegal refineries was not a solution to the problems in the coastal areas.

Mr. Lasun said that no Nigerian had complained that the petrol, kerosene, diesel and other products from the illegal refineries were inferior to the imported products.

He said it was high time the government sat with the operators of the illegal refineries to develop modalities for standardising them.

According to him, if the technology is developed, local companies could independently take over the oil sector without depending on foreigners.

Mr. Lasun said that a country could develop either through agriculture, technology transfer “or development of local technology’’.

After the debate and adoption of the motion, the legislators urged the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Federal Ministry of Health to constitute an emergency team of experts to identify the source of the soot and propose remedy.

They asked the ministries to create awareness on the effect of the soot, adding that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) should offer first aid measures to the people.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, mandated the Committees on Environment and Habitat and Healthcare Services to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks.



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  • ukoette ibekwe

    Every year governments particularly at the federal levels keep pumping billions​into agriculture. If similar efforts were made towards empowering these people who operate supposed illegal refineries may be just maybe Nigeria would not have petrol import problems. But would not happen because the beneficiaries would include Niger Delta people.

  • Otile

    Nobody destroys illegal mining in the North and West but over here in the Niger Delta local refining is an abomination. Legions of Fulani soldiers are specifically deployed here to keep an eye on the people of Niger Delta to make sure that every drop of crude oil goes to Danjuma, Dangote, Alakaja and the emirs. Separation is the solution to these nagging problems.

  • Peaceometer

    Who is responsible for the environmental effects of illegal refineries?

  • Keen Observer

    Good initiative from the reps from Rivers state concerning destruction of illegal refineries. Hope it’ll not end there; something reasonable & technological breakthrough comes out of the 4 weeks mandate to the ministries.

  • GusO

    I can’t believe what these Reps are saying. I thought illegal meant ‘forbidden by law’ and the military and the authorities should leave the illegal operators alone? Do they get the petroleum legally to use to make petrol? How about the environmental waste they leave behind? How about the population of the air we breathe? It is irresponsible for elected Reps to support illegality.

    • Richard

      All these people with dubious names Fake identity who comment without thinking there are illegal mining all over Nigeria it is only in Niger delta illegality happens and they should killed

  • Sowari Jaja

    Is good the lawmaker that raise the issue on the floor is from my State and APC and thus making his argument apolitical. Having said that. Illegal refineries don’t buy crude they steal them and send them to their camps for refining. Hence, govt must decide if they will give free quota or at a very affordable prices to them. DPR should also give them enough time to comply with international standard.

  • Eja

    Good advice from the representatives. Assisting the operators of local refineries to standardise production is a long overdue initiative. If this had been done years ago, there would be no talk now about shortages of refined petroleum products in nigeria and the economies of oil producing areas would have been greatly improved. Not to talk of how such a move will actually start bringing much of the environmental degradation to an end. Remove the need to operate under the radar and you remove most of the causes of the damages caused by the present mode of local petroleum refining.

    Lets see if this great proposal is carried through to a successful conclusion or, if the agents of malaise and retrogression will be able to stifle yet another opportunity to bring about genuine development,

  • Oracle

    If the local refineries were improved, perfected and legalized, and crude legally pumped to the local operators, it will sure benefit everyone. Jobs created; protected environment; capital flight reduced; ntainal pride boosted;

    My observations about our national development is that: the citizens are by far ahead of the government in terms of vision, thinking and development. Our leaders are by far too archaic to move Nigeria to the next level of development.

  • Timothy Martin

    It is so unfortunate that our leaders are getting to know this by this time, I have never seen a country who distroys the little technology developed by individual instead of developing it to become of standard, first it creates job, save environment bust self reliance in petroleum products, reduce govt forex spending, bring about a lasting peace in the ever hostile region . to name but a few, the Nigeria Govt is characterise with hatred, bia, sectional, wicked and also blind to opportunities that God has naturally bless it with. All they think is how to embesel money (corruption). yet the govt complain of recession when they have what can take country out of recession within 6 months or even less than. In their (shokoto)

  • Sir Demo

    While it is necessary to perfect the technology, illegalities must not be rewarded. Crude theft is illegal.

    Worse still is the ignorance of our si called law makers. Imagine the Deputy Speaker ironically from Osun saying that no one has complained about the quality of the refined products from these crude refineries. God have mercy. What an ignoramus!

    Diesel or AGO and kerosene maybe but gasoline or petrol? You put the straight run gasoline into a car and you will ruin your engine.