By Chinelo Obogo
MemberOhaji/Egbema House of Representatives, Oguta, Oru Federal Constituency of Imo State, Kingsley Uju-Chima renewed his call for the integration of artisanal refineries into the country’s refining regulations in the oil and gas industry.
The lawmaker made the call yesterday following a site visit to Friday’s fire that killed more than 100 people at an illegal bunker site in his constituency. He said The Artisanal Refinery remains the permanent solution to the threat associated with illegal oil bunkering.
“This is a national disaster that has thrown the entire community, local government area and constituency into a mood of mourning. No amount of words will compensate for the situation I have seen here today. We have had a lot bills and motions in the National Assembly in the past and I understood why we should take this more seriously I understood why as Nigerians and people in the oil producing areas we should deploy collaborative efforts to combat this threat of oil bunkering.
“Some time ago, I proposed the Artisanal Refinery as a possible permanent solution to this threat. I know in the western world they have grade A, grade B and grade C fuel so if this illegal trade could continue unabated despite the security officers present in this place, so we will try to see from the legislative sector if we can have deposits and artisanal refineries to put a permanent end to this threat”, he said. declared.
Uju-Chima, who also expressed concern that 48 hours after the incident many unclaimed corpses still litter the area, called on the state government to evacuate the corpses and fumigate the environment. The legislator, who then addressed some women in the region, urged them to help redirect the mindset of young people against addiction to illegal oil bunkering.
“We must urgently evacuate these corpses, so that living people are not affected by the health danger posed by these decomposing bodies. I am truly pained and don’t know why our people should be killed in this form, as it is not our traditional livelihood. We have always survived by farming and fishing. I know that with proper empowerment and encouragement in real oil and gas companies and MSMEs, no young people will want to live in the bush to survive,” he said.