Warri — The nation's oil production which peaked to about 2.2 billion barrels per day and increased in revenue generation for the country is now being threatened as a Niger Delta youth group at the weekend threatened to disrupt the oil exploration activities in the region over an alleged exclusion of indigenes in the concessioning of refineries by the federal government.
The youth group, Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF), at a press conference in Warri yesterday said its members were ready to disrupt oil exploration in the region should the government go ahead to concession the refineries, as it is happening to the Port Harcourt refinery, without the inclusion of indigenes of the area.
President of PANDLEAF, Hon. Famous Daunemigha, warned that the double speak of the federal government on the issue of concessioning of the Port Harcourt refinery would soon lead to chaos.
He argued that though the indigenes of the Niger Delta had shown seriousness and capability with provision of $1.2 billion required as third financier demanded by the federal government for the rebuilding of the refineries, the double speak by the Minister of State, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu is an indication of hidden agenda to bring in multinationals at the expense of locals.
"The hidden attempt by the federal government to bring in the multinationals at the expense of indigenes who have shown the capability to raise the 1.2 billion required as third party financier will provoke a total shut down of oil production in the region.
"It is unfortunate that the leaders of our nation speaks from both sides of their mouth. Only on Friday, we submitted a memorandum to the Senate ad hoc committee on the concessioning of the refineries. The other day, the Minister of State, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, came out to say they are not planning to concession the refineries but that they are looking for third party financiers to finance the rebuilding of refineries to the tune on $1.2 billion.
"We however wish to say as a people, our rights to economic, social and cultural development as enshrined in the United Nation and African Union Charter in Article 22 of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights provide that 'the people shall have the right to their economic, social and cultural development with due regards to their freedom and identity and in equal enjoyment of the common heritage of mankind," he added.
Daunemigha therefore declared "We shall resist any attempt at bringing any company (Oando and Agip inclusive) in the name of concessioning or as a third party financier in the business of rebuilding the Port Harcourt refinery without the inclusion of companies owned by persons from the Niger Delta region.
"That we have gotten together a consortium of indigenous investors, financiers and corporations with necessary resources, capital, technical knowhow, manpower and have created s special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the purpose of putting together the $1.2 billion as stated by Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and we are willing to present all relevant request," he added.