The federal government has restated its commitment to the development and establishment of modular refineries in the country.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmoud, who disclosed this during the public review of the Environmental Impact Assessment report on the proposed Modular Refinery at Obotebe in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, however said set standards must be met before approval could be granted.
Represented by a Director in his Ministry, Mr. Abbas Suleiman, the Environment Minister commended Etopo Refinery Plc for the initiative and for ensuring that the mandatory EIA exercise was carried out before taking any further step for the takeoff of the project.
Dr. Mahmoud noted that the project would create employment, enhance the economic fortunes of the people, generate revenue for government at all levels as well as reduce importation of diesel and allied refined products.
The Chairman of the EIA panel, Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi, said health, social and environmental hazards must be considered before approval for establishment of a modular refinery and commended Otopo Refinery Pls for keeping to global best practices in that regard.
He thanked stakeholders for their robust participation and meaningful contributions towards ensuring the smooth take off of Etopo Refinery at Obotebe town in Delta State, assuring that from the report there was no hindrance to the establishment of the Modular Refinery.
Other members of the panel, including Profesdor Mohammed Babagara, Miss Uvie Igini, who represented the Commissioner for Environment Delta State, Mr. Clement Biribai, the representative of the Chairman, Burutu local government council, Mr. Victor Ladele and Engineer K. A. Adeniyi, said the project would create both direct and indirect employment in the locality.
The paramount ruler of Obotebe Kingdom, King Emmanuel Warewini Arikawei, said establishment of a thirty thousand tonne barrel per day Modular Refinery in Obotebe, would be of enormous benefits, particularly to communities in the coastal areas of Delta State as well as the state government.
King Arikawei, while commending the EIA panel for a hitch free exercise, noted that its affirmation and recommendation for the establishment of Etopo Refinery would spur the management to take further steps to bring the project to fruition.