Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel,” has called on the Federal Government to formulate policies that will unbundle the oil and gas sector for increased job opportunities and economy growth in the country.
Governor Emmanuel made the call on Friday, during his interaction with the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, who led the Board members of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on a courtesy visit at the Executive Council Chamber, Government House, Uyo.
He described the visit as strategic, explaining that with the availability of International airport, 21 storey smart building, excellent security, good network of roads and other infrastructure, the state has been repositioned as a strategic logistic center.
The Governor pointed out that Akwa Ibom State sits on 25% of oil and gas reserve and deserves a petroleum depot to regig the state economy and open up job opportunities for the youths.
“…This issue of modular refineries or petrochemicals should be totally liberated from whatever could be the bottlenecks to create employment and stimulate a whole lot of economic activities, so I believe that even if NNPC as a group can support this it will help our economy to grow”, he explained.
He appealed to the team to look into the vast untapped opportunities in the oil and gas sector with a view to unbundling it for job and wealth creation and thanked the Minister of State Petroleum Resources and his team for the choice of Akwa Ibom State for the Oil and Gas Retreat
“we are so lucky Hon. Minister and Board members of NNPC that you brought your conference to Akwa Ibom, you are actually at the right place, sitting on the real oil and gas so much can be done and this does not need federal government money but a little policy formulation then the economy will improve”, he stated .
Earlier, the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and leader of the delegation had said that they were in the state to seek collaboration for the revamping of refineries and assured that the Port Harcourt refinery would be rehabilitated within the first quarter of next year.
“myself and the team went to River State to look at the Port Harcourt refinery, we have promised this country that we will rehabilitate at least one of these refineries within the shortest possible time.
“…we visited the Port Harcourt refinery because the programme rehabilitation is about to begin. The EPC will be in place by the fourth quarter of this year and we hope the work on Port Harcourt refinery will start first quarter next year”, he added.
He expressed appreciation to the Governor and people of the state for the warm reception accorded him and the board members on their arrival in the state.