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Buhari’s aide calls for state of emergency in energy sector

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AS NIGERIA’S economy continues to dwindle as a result of the alleged illegal activities of artisanal crude oil refiners, the increasing price of petroleum among others, the Senior Special Assistant to President Mohammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang, has urged the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the nation’s energy and petroleum sector to save the country from eminent doom.

Senator Enang gave the advice while featuring in a media programme tagged, formalising the informal petroleum sector, monitored by our reporter recently.

He said, “a constitution or law of a country operates when all is well; but when all is not well, the constitution demands a president or the government of the country to adopt what is called a state of emergency.

“In my opinion, we’re in a state of emergency in a petroleum refining business in Nigeria today.

“And we do not need to suspend the operations of the petroleum sector, but we have to acknowledge in addition to the formal sector, which is regulated by the Petroleum Industries Act that there are other players, who are supposed to be covered. They are informally contributing to the sustenance of the energy and petroleum sector. It is difficult to operate without engaging with them.

“So, we have to find a way of accommodating them for the purpose of the survival of the country and its economy,” he said.

The Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs advised the federal government to borrow President Umaro Musa Yar’Adua’s wisdom as regards his amnesty programme to the people of the Niger Delta, suggesting establishment of a body that will be made up of national agency for science and engineering infrastructure which will look at the technologies of the artisanal crude oil refiners with a view to formalising and upscaling them.  

 Also contributing, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Delta State, Prof Akpofuru Rim-Rukoh, identified youth unemployment as a factor responsible for proliferation of artisanal refineries in the Niger Delta.

He expressed belief that if the formal petroleum sector will accept the local operators into the crude oil refining business, the artisanal refining will be a thing of the past.  

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