Buhari’s olive branch to the Niger Delta (1)

I am a seaman, who had travelled far and wide. While travelling round the world, I studied the white man refining over there. I adopted his method because it does not flare gas to pollute the environment. It has a method of harnessing the gas during the refining process through a special pipe provision and conversion method. Unlike our local refiners who pollute the environment, my method is sophisticated and efficient. I can produce 200, 000 litres in a day. I started with two heaters because the system requires a lot of voltage. I intended to install eight heaters before the military Joint Task Force came to destroy the place.” – Titi

Governor Interview with Akpokona Omafuaire, Sunday Vanguard, November 2, 2014.
When he was Venezuela and Venezuela was Hugo Chavez…the President of that Republic hosted a September annual press conference for select international journalists. On the tour, the visiting journalists would be shepherded around by state officials and depending on your preferred programme, you could see Venezuela on gold tickets by extending the tour to the sea paradises of the Caribbeans.
For my brief, I was curious and investigated the international politics of the Venezuelan petro dollars. Primary on my focus was the impact of the Venezuelan oil production on its poor populace, and at the same time Venezuelan’s power counter balance influence against the US as regards her relations with the rest of the Caribbeans.

As discussed in my Column then with the Vanguard, Letters From Washington, we learnt that Chavez Venezuela had built the Amuay plant in Falcon and that refinery with a production capacity of 645,000 barrels a day is one of the biggest in the world. Part of the Paraguana refinery complex, which includes the adjacent Cardon refinery, the complex with over 955,000 barrels production per day is the biggest refinery complex in the universe!

That production figure ensures a very favourable cost of the products, not only for the poor, but for the little beautiful Islands of the Caribbeans, which benefit from Venezuela’s oil largesse. Probably apart from Trinidad, which is an optimum producer, most of the other Caribbean states depend on Venezuela to ride their systems. So proficient, Venezuela’s company oil is equally supplied to its armed forces, and the available output maintains its ambulances.  The oil company went out of its way and built one of the most equipped heart hospitals in the world!

I have in my anecdote described what I saw in a country that has its problems, in many ways a developing economy and also an equally oil producing country like Nigeria. But unlike Nigeria has not abandoned its poor. As we embrace the recent call for dialogue as opposed to forcing the resolution in the Niger Delta impasse, I seek a clean mahogany peace table and we are ready to arrive at solutions, starting from relatively close issues if agreed on, would not rob the parties but would add value and improve on our people’s welfare.

The Niger Delta palaver would eventually see resolution. However, as an expert in African conflicts, it is better to start from those issues and areas the two parties in the conflict can steadfastly reach an agreement. I shall, therefore, end this intervention by bringing in the views of some concerned Nigerians on the heart-rending abuse of power by our armed forces in the Delta areas. In their ignorance, our JTF are stopping our science, our economy, our development. We call on the government to legalise the oil refining production for every Nigerian. This first move will restore the initial faith on both sides, as we move to tackle the other knotty fundamental issues, as we assemble to talk on President Buhari’s olive branch extension to the foraging Avengers.

From Abuja, Charles Anikweze wrote: “Refining petrol is similar to producing local gin and should be liberalised to end fuel scarcity. All that is needed is to insist that local refineries pay for supply of crude oil from legitimate sources and pay VAT for sold products.”
Continuing, in his Interview to the Vanguard, Titi Governor, who invented the electric refining oven with the capacity to refine over 50, 000 litres of products in one trip, insisted that illegal refining could not be stopped by the destruction of illegal refineries but the process can be improved upon.

This is electric method of refining introduced by me; it works using high electrical heating procedure. God gave me this revelation after the militancy crisis; you know that necessity is the mother of invention. A thought came one day that if I could construct a refinery using electric heaters, it would work and refine better than the fire wood heating employed by others. That was how I started the process. Refining has semblance to alcohol refining whereby palm wine is heated to become local gin (Ogogoro). That is the experiment and it works for me,” he stated.

He continued: “I use 350KVA heater in the oven. I installed two of such powered by two big plants, each for one heater. I can produce 50,000 litres per trip while my oven can produce about four trips in 24 hours, which is about 200, 000 litres in a day. I started with two heaters because the system requires a lot of voltage. I intended to install eight heaters before the military Joint Task Force came to destroy the place. I had a gigantic crude storage tank, which I constructed with about N8 million; it has the capacity to store eight trucks, which is about 264,000 litres. The idea was conceived after discovering that Geepee tanks usually catch fire and, because we are safety conscious and don’t want any form of industrial accident, we opted for steel plate tanks. When crude boat comes, we offload them into the storage tank from where we start operation- so that the boat can go and bring another consignment of crude.”

Tom Lori Published by Tom Lori

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