Youths of Niger Delta extraction have threatened to sabotage oil operations in the region as a result of what they call the shortchanging of the region’s stakeholders in ownership stakes of the Port Harcourt refineries.
The youths, under the aegis of the Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF), stated that the region was not against privatisation of the ailing refineries towards reviving them, but accused Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu of double speak to rationalize his determination to sell the refinery to exclusion of host communities.
In a statement signed by Famous Daunemigha and Michael Ekpo, president and secretary, respectively, PANDLEAF said: “Dr. Kachukwu came out to say they are not planning to concession the refineries but that they are looking for third party financier for re building of the refineries to the tune of $1.2 billion.
We were shocked to hear him announcing sales of same refineries in disguise, playing on the semantics of concession to financiers, apparent euphemism for selling the refineries to Agip and Oando which names have been favoured in an unpopular private bidding. It’s very unfortunate that our leaders speak from the both sides of the mouth.
Going further, the duo stated: “We shall resist any attempt at bringing any company (Oando and Agip inclusive) in the name of concession or third party financier in the business of rebuilding the Port-Harcourt refineries without inclusion of companies owned by persons from the Niger Delta.
We have submitted a memorandum to the senate AD HOC Committee on concessioning of rrfineries. We have put together a consortium of indigenous investors and corporations with necessary capacity and created a special purpose vehicle for putting together the 1.2 billion US dollars stated by Kachukwu and willing to present all relevant details if requested.
At this moment, people of the Niger Delta are more than capable of managing the refineries optimally. No external back-up, investor or financier is necessary. In the pursuit of peace and sustainable development of the Niger Delta, these refineries should be given to our people to finance and run.”