The Niger Delta Youth Council (NDYC) worldwide has urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to urgently revamp the existing refineries in Warri, Port Harcourt, and Kanuda, while issuing local artisan refinery licenses as a step to tackle the economic challenges faced by the Niger Delta people and the entire nation,

The youth group at a press conference addressed by Engr. Jator Abido and Akowien Joshua, the National Coordinator and Director of Communications respectively at the Presidential Hotel, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital expressed concerns about the prevailing hardship caused by the subsidy removal and its impact on the people of the region and Nigerians as a whole.

They emphasized that, “the restoration of the refineries was crucial to mitigating the effects of the fuel price increase and naira devaluation which has negatively affected the economy. With the naira being exchanged at a staggering 860 naira to 1 US dollar, urgent and proactive steps must be taken forthwith.

“We do not seek mere palliatives, instead, we demand the swift restoration of our refineries, so that we can produce fuel at subsidised rates and alleviate the burden of exorbitant fuel costs on the citizens of this region and the entire nation.”

The youth leaders also reiterated their commitment to peaceful and constructive engagement with the government, eschewing any confrontational means to achieve their objectives, adding that they had been encouraging their people not to resort to old patterns of protest and unrest but rather to pursue constructive dialogue with the government.

“As an umbrella organisation for all the youth groups and ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region, we can authoritatively say that there shall not be any unrest in the region. However, we urge Mr. President to establish a committee to investigate the usage of funds allocated for the revamping of the nation’s refineries for the past years and carry stakeholders and youths of the region along to assuage tempers and restore hope in the Nigerian project.

Most importantly, the youth group appealed for the issuance of local artisan refinery licenses, which have the capacity to refine fuel at significantly subsidised rates to qualified persons and companies, insisting that with these licenses, fuel can sell at a price lower than 100 naira per liter, thereby lessening the burden on consumers and creating significant jobs for citizens.

“Nigerians artisans and entrepreneurs have the technical know-how to refine crude oil into many products in large quantities and that’s what we’re advocating for, to ease the cost of fuel. In addition to the refinery licenses, we urge the federal government to establish a channel that would facilitate the purchase of crude oil at subsidised rates to drastically reduce the cost of production,” the statement added.

While expressing their strong commitment to contributing positively to the nation’s economy and also seeking to alleviate the hardships faced Nigerians, the youth group emphasised that their call for the revamping of refineries and the issuance of local artisan refinery licenses underscores their determination to be active participants in the economic recovery and growth of Nigeria.

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