By Anne Azuka
Governor Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, on Tuesday, urged the Federal Government and relevant stakeholders to work towards revitalising the nation’s refineries.
Oborevwori insisted that Nigeria has no reason to import petrol with its cost implications on the economy.
Governor Oborevwori stated this when he received the National Executive Committee of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) led by the National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha at Government House, Asaba.
He said there was no justification for an oil producing nation with four refineries to resort to fuel importation for its local consumption.
The Governor described NUPENG as a critical stakeholder in the Nigerian project and thanked the President and the union for the support given to him during and after the general elections.
Governor Oborevwori said: “I am happy that NUPENG have been in this struggle for years and I congratulate you for the struggle for more efficient and people oriented oil and gas sector and I celebrate you because you are a critical stakeholder in the Nigeria project.
“A lot of things have been happening. For years, our refineries have been down and nobody talks about how we can put our refineries to use; instead, we are importing petroleum products.
“This is also biting on the economy of this country. Look at the prices of things which have gone up because we are not producing. If we were producing, we won’t have these challenges.
“The products we use today are being imported and we have refineries that are not working.
“I have promised Deltans in my M.O.R.E Agenda that security is very key. Infrastructure is there too. As you now know, most of the projects just awarded in Warri, will favour NUPENG because without good roads, you can’t lift your products.
“Yesterday, my Deputy Governor went on inspection with the Honourable Minister of Works to inspect the Benin/Warri road and the Amukpe/Agbor road.
“Today, the Minister of Works is also going through the Ughelli/Patani/Bayelsa road to ascertain the level of damage on those roads. Without good roads we can’t have access.
“As a state, we have embarked on the dualisation of the Ughelli-Asaba road, we have done about 70 percent. If we didn’t embark on that road, we would not hhave had access to the capital city today. I am very sure that by this time next year, we will be completing the dualisation.”
He commended NUPENG for its intention to build skill acquisition centre to empower youths of the state on relevant oil and gas industry skills and pledged the collaboration of the state for the success of the project.
“I am happy about the skill acquisition and we are going to partner with you. We will work with the Ministry of Lands to make sure that you get land to develop. Government will give you the land, your own is to build the skill acquisition centre.
“As a youth friendly governor, I appointed over 10 youths below 40 years into my government. So, the skill acquisition centre is very important”.
Earlier, Comrade Akporeha said they were in Asaba to congratulate the Governor on his assumption of office and for his laudable achievements in 100 days in the saddle.
He said that Delta is an investment destination any time and urged the Governor to create the enabling environment for more investors to come and invest in the state.
The NUPENG boss while thanking the Governor for his workers’ friendly disposition, appealed for the state government’s assistance in rehabilitating the deplorable federal roads leading to fuel depots in the state.
Akporeha said NUPENG had concluded plans to build a skill acquisition centre in Warri to train youths in the state.