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Aziken, one of the 22 new refinery licensees begins construction in Yenagoa

The foundation laying stone for the Aziken Petroleum Refinery (APR) scheme at Obunagha Gbarian, Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital has taken place, marking the resumption of construction activities.

The project, which is expected to be delivered in one year time, will among other things lead to the reduction in capital flight currently caused by importation of petroleum products in the country.

During the occasion, Business Hilights South-South Bureau chief, discovered that out of the 22 modular refineries licenses so far given out by the present administration, this is the first to begin construction activities.

In his address during the flag off, Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson, hailed the current administration for granting the licence for two modular refineries in the state, but demanded that more oil blocs be given to the oil-producing areas because they are “the ancestral properties of Niger Delta.”

On the emerging refinery, Governor Dickson averred that “We need more of this investment for our people to be part of it. At anytime I have opportunity as a governor of a federating unit, I will use the opportunity to commend President Muhammadu Buhari and tell him that we need more of this”.

“We are talking of ownership of oil blocks because that is a legitimate demand. We are yet to see the demands by the Federal Government that oil companies should relocate to the Niger Delta.

“I don’t know of any business which justifies pipelines crisis crossing several areas for building refineries while they haven’t built refineries from the source of crude oil.

“In all the all-producing areas around the world, the activities of those companies are located where the resources come from. We must examine our own conduct and what we do. We are waiting for the oil blocks, what the Nigerian government sits down and calls oil blocks are in fact and in truth the ancestral properties of the Niger Delta.

“They are pieces of our ancestral properties given away at our expenses. We are not saying others should not be included. But if we are not included, it will be wrong.”

Continuing, the governor added that “The investment will take off all the stress and pressures on us. I’ve signed the Certificate of Occupancy for 99 years in line with the Land Use Act. I do this every week and one of the fist things I did when I came to office was to liberalise land,” Bayelsa State Governor noted.