Task FG on modular refineries license
The Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers has called on the Federal Government to issue modular refinery licenses to operators of illegal refineries to engage in lawful and controlled production of fuel.
This is as they decried the high incidence of soot in Rivers State, which they said has enveloped the atmosphere in Port Harcourt and other parts of the state.
The traditional rulers appealed to the governor of the South-South geopolitical zone to intervene and save the Niger Delta from the soot which according to them was gradually taking over the region.
Chairman of the council and King of Opobo Kingdom, Dandeson Jaja, made the call in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday.
Jaja said rather than the continued pollution of the environment caused by the soot, the controlled production of fuel will serve the people and keep the environment clean.
The monarch expressed unhappiness that the life expectancy of present and future generations in the state was dangerously being undermined due to the lingering situation of the soot.
According to the first-class monarch, “This form of pollution is suspected to be responsible for an increase in health hazards such as bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and heart attacks which are prevalent in the state and Niger Delta region due to the activities of illegal refiners.
“On behalf of Rivers State Traditional Rulers Council, I call on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, issue modular refinery licenses to operators of illegal refineries to engage in lawful and controlled production of fuel to serve the people and keep our environment clean,” Jaja stated.
The Rivers monarchs’ boss further called on the apex government to promulgate a law banning illegal refineries to protect lives and prescribe punishment for perpetrators.
King Jaja, appealed to the Federal Government to direct the release of enough funds from the ecological fund and also empower other environmental agencies to combat this health hazard in the state.
He frowns on a situation where boats and tanker loads of illegal petroleum products are set ablaze by security agencies in the open thereby worsening the level of soot instead of disposing of it in a way that would not pollute the environment.
“On behalf of the council, I implore the Governors of the South-South geopolitical zone, led by their Chairman, the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, to take up this issue as a matter of urgency with the Federal Government as soot pollution is gradually enveloping the whole of the region,” Jaja added.