Mr. Nsima Ekere , the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) , is leading a delegation to this year’s Oil Technology Conference to explore partnership opportunities in modular refineries for the Niger Delta region.
The conference, holding in Houston, United States, from May 1 to 4, would bring together leading professionals and players in the global oil and gas industry. It is the number one forum for knowledge exchange in drilling, exploration, production development, environmental protection, innovation and technology.
Ekere said NDDC would attend the conference as it prepared to implement Federal Government’s proposal to replace thousands of illegal refining facilities scattered across the region with modular refineries.
“Our participation in this year’s conference is a proactive strategy to fully prepare the region for a new era of downstream operations by small and new players in line with plans by the Federal Government to convert illegal refineries into modular ones.”
He added: “We have scheduled meetings and engagements that will enrich our knowledge and open up new partnership opportunities for the benefit of the Niger Delta region and its people.”
The Federal Government recently announced plans to replace illegal oil refineries with modular refineries as part of a wider plan for the development of the Niger Delta, and the country’s oil and gas industry.
“In the past few weeks, we have had open and prospective discussions with some of the refiners and government is assiduously working to ensure this initiative is carefully implemented without destruction to the environment.
“This will not only provide a legal job and source of income for the populace, but also contribute to our national productivity. “
He also disclosed that the interventionist agency planned to display the works of some young innovators from the region, under the Niger Delta Young Innovators Scheme, at the conference.
He stated : “NDDC is supporting participating innovators and entrepreneurs to take their innovations to the global stage, as a strategy to attract new business, strengthen indigenous capacity and boost employment and economic activities in the region.
“NDDC, which was established in 2000 to facilitate the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta, has undertaken more than 7,500 infrastructure projects across the nine states of the Niger Delta since inception and equipped more than 10,000 youths with market-relevant skills”, Ekere.
It was gathered that about 1, 211 indigenes of the region have also benefitted from the Commission’s foreign post-graduate scholarships, while up to 3 million people had been impacted directly under its medical outreach mission.