Nigeria announced its plan to legalize illegal oil refineries in the unsettled Niger Delta region in its aim to bring peace to the state’s main production area, Reuters reported.
According to Ecofin Agency, the decision came after growing demands made by community leaders. The illegal refineries are temporary structures processing stolen crude from oil company pipelines supporting thousands of people.
The refineries legalization will aid in reducing tensions in the Delta states. The Nigerian government is keeping an uneasy peace in the region while holding talks with local communities, including militants whose attacks resulted in cutting around a third of the Nigerian oil production.
The country’s economy mainly relies on oil sales that cover two-thirds of its revenue.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Oshinbajo said in a statement early April, “Under the plan that is being developed, communities would come together working with their respective state governments, the federal government and private sector operators to work out a template for the establishment of modular refineries in the communities.”
“The legalized refineries must be structured in a way that works for business or structure it in a way that is realistic and works, otherwise it would not last,” he added.