According to Governor Okowa, establishing mini refineries in different areas of the Niger Delta area would ensure that the 450, 000 barrels of crude oil meant for local consumption are refined locally.
The Governor who was speaking when the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE), Prof. Akii Ibhadode paid him a courtesy call on August 20, 2015 at Asaba, emphasised that all avenues to reduce illegal refining of petroleum products and pipeline vandalism must be harnessed.
He said, “we look forward to having effective and efficient mini refineries so that our people will be better encouraged to follow due process in refining petroleum products, rather than vandalizing our pipelines and seek to get crude from the local provisions that NNPC provides on a daily basis for refining”.
Senator Okowa added “am aware that at the moment about 450,000 barrels are supposed to be left locally for the purpose of refining, but because we have not been able to attain an efficient process of refining our products, they will not be able to approach NNPC in any manner to be part of the companies that utilize the 450,000 barrels”.
The Governor who commended FUPRE for its efforts towards producing mini refineries, asserted, “it is good to hear that the University of Petroleum Resources is doing something towards having micro and mini refineries, unfortunately, our people approached the whole process of crude refining in a crude manner and rather than getting the crude oil from appropriate sources, they have undertaken to vandalising our pipelines and that has not helped us as a state, it has not helped us as a nation and we pray every day that our people will be a little bit more understanding and realise that even if they want to go through the act of downstream development sector, it should be through legal means.”
Governor Okowa used the occasion to challenge institutions of higher learning in the country to ensure that their products are technically equipped to be self-reliant, decrying situations where students are after “paper certificate rather than acquiring technical skills.”
He assured management of FUPRE of government assistance to enable them to function effectively, observing that the country was facing economic challenges as a result of the dwindling revenue from oil and gas sector.
Earlier, Prof. Ibhadode commended Governor Okowa for the giant strides recorded by his administration within the few months of his being in office saying that the visit to his office was to intimate him of the activities of FUPRE which include the development of micro refineries that are effective and can be used in different locations of the country.
The FUPRE Vice Chancellor equally informed Governor Okowa of the comprehensive road map and action plan of his administration to position FUPRE as one of the globally recognised academic institutions in its field, adding that, while South Africa was listed amongst the first four globally recognized petroleum institutes, it was imperative that Nigeria as the most populous nation in Africa, raises the standards of its own institution to meet and surpass South Africa and that was the driving force and vision of his administration and management team.
He noted that FUPRE had achieved several commendable milestones in the first 100 days of his appointment as Vice Chancellor, which was attained recently, and his desire was to ensure that the institute not only produces qualitative manpower to feed the petroleum industry but also embark on innovations and technologically advanced projects that would position the school as one of the leading petroleum institutes in the world.
The FUPRE Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibhadode was accompanied on the courtesy visit by the Registrar of Institution, Mr, Ejike Ichendu, the Burser, Mr. Sam Inengite, the Liberian, Prof. Ejuse Adoni, and Dir. of Works, Engr. G.O Okpako.
Others on the FUPRE entourage were, the PAR, Mrs. Hilma-Mae Onokpite, the CLO, Rev. Father Abaka, Prof. Arubayi (Physics Dept), Prof. Mary Edema (Chemistry Dept), Prof. (Mrs.) Taraw Fufeyin (Environmental Biology Dept), Dr. Arnold Ogugo and Engr. Gideon Osemwengie.