Stop destroying local refineries, they are not illegal- IPDI tells military

The military has been urged by the Ijaw People's Development Initiative, IPDI, to stop further destruction of local refineries in the Niger Delta.
According to the group, the refineries were not illegal as charged.
In a press statement released on Sunday, the National President of the group, Austin Ozobo, said, “The local refineries help in controlling price and availability of petroleum, diesel
and kerosene products in the country and Government should regulate, rather than destroy the technology.
“It is, therefore, unfair to describe its operation illegal. What is illegal about it? No innovation is illegal, and no technology is illegal in the world. The Government can regulate its operation and earn revenue from it. It is subject to improvement.
“They should think of improving the robust local technology and stop destroying them. “The army and navy, which destroy stolen crude or locally refined products are another set of economic saboteurs against the nations’ economy. They are not different from oil thieves and vandals because both efforts gear towards bleeding the nation’s economy.
“That local refineries are not owned by government, does not make them illegal. “The Government is sectional and lopsided, that is why they fail to see the beauty of this local technology.”
Going further, IPDI noted: “Local refineries in the country complement other refineries in the country. They help in controlling price and availability of petroleum products in the country, such as petroleum, diesel and kerosene products.
“The so- called illegal refineries could be converted to Modula refineries.
“If the Government thinks it is illegal, let the Government legalize it by either issuing operational lichens or permits.
“It can be regulated in such a way that the operators will be buying raw crude direct from NNPC at local prices.”
According to IPDI, “Of what importance is the destruction of impounded stolen crude, it is unfair to destroy it, looking at its economic importance.
“Whether stolen or impounded, such does not reduce or devalue the crude or other locally- refined products.
“If the Government is wise, such impounded products can be converted to assist the dying economy.
“Instead of burning it or wasting it, it is better to allow citizens to use it to develop themselves; if the Government is not being wicked.
“The local refineries help to checkmate activities of militancy and piracies in the region as thousands of jobless persons now earn a living from it.
“Operators of local refineries are not oil thieves, neither pipeline vandals. They buy to refine.
“They are different from oil thieves and vandals and saboteurs, who are seeking pipeline repair and surveillance contracts. “Oil thieves are those who use vessels and barges to siphon crude from pipeline and export it. These group of persons include NNPC top staff, top politicians, top army and navy officers.
“Local refinery operators buy remnants or spill over from such cartels to refine. They buy to refine and do not siphon from pipelines to get their products.
“The Government of Buhari, its military and navy, should have a rethink and stop further destruction of the nation’s economic products,” the group said.

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