Business Hilights
Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online

Henceforth site refineries only in producing areas—SE-SSG Forum

The real deal of the newly inaugurated South-East/South-South Governors’ Forum (SE-SSG Forum), who had their inaugural meeting in Enugu State recently, has emerged.

In a statement endorsed by the interim chairman and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and made available to Business Hilights on Tuesday quoted the group as making it clear that “It doesn’t make economic sense to lay sub-sea pipelines from the locations where oil is explored to other parts of the nation at a cost of $5bn (about N2tn)”.

“This amount is enough to build many modular refineries and establish seven industrial parks in the Niger Delta region.”

According to Emmanuel, “The two zones had come together to harmonise their economic interests and pursue inter-regional cooperation and integration”.

“If mature democracies as exemplified by the European Union could see the economic benefits of coming together, expanding markets and opportunities, I think the decision of the two zones to come together is, frankly speaking, long overdue and highly commendable,” he said.

The forum averred further that the bloc would keep on demanding and insisting that resources in the zones be utilised to develop them, saying, “We believe this is a fair demand. There is no reason why we should be blessed with huge resources and yet our region lacks the corresponding federal presence or infrastructure.”

The next meeting of the group is expected to be hosted by the new chairman, governor Udom Emmanuel in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom capital.

The federal government or other bloc governors’ fora are yet to respond to the new development. It would be recalled that the South West Governors Forum which was hosted first by the Ogun State governor has decided to draw a comprehensive roadmap for the integrated development of the region.