Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has asked the people of Bayelsa to account for the two oil blocks he approved for them during his administration.
Chief Obasanjo said he personally ran the marginal oil field policy for it to benefit the people of the Niger Delta region.
“I personally ran the policy on marginal field to benefit the people of this area and they were the major beneficiaries of marginal field. I don’t know what they did with it, just as I don’t know what you have done to your two oil blocks after it has been given to your state.”
The former President was speaking in Yenagoa during the ground breaking ceremony of Azikel refinery at Obunagha, Bayelsa state.
Pleading with youths of the area to give peace a chance so that the project would come to fruition, he pleaded for the youths, whatever might be their anger or annoyance, to “reserve it and make the investment here secure.”
Commending the owner of Azikel group, Obasanjo said, “Anybody that knows the terrain here will know that you have worked to make everybody feel that you mean business, land clearing, sand filling, stumping, fencing and all that.
Obasanjo, who said he was impressed that a serious investor like Eruani has begun work on the refinery, expressed regret, however, that out of 22 licences issued in 2015 by the President Buhari administration, it was only Azikel refinery that has started something.
He said he had earlier doubted the seriousness of the project taking off, considering the fact that not one out of the 18 licences his administration issued to investors during his tenure moved to site.
Commending Buhari for granting the licence to Azikel Group and another licence for 500MW power station on the same site, Obasanjo said he was delighted that a modular refinery initiated by a Nigerian was coming into reality in his lifetime.
Speaking earlier, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state had commended Obasanjo whose government gave the state two (indigenous) oil blocs but demanded that more oil blocs be allocated to oil-producing areas because, according to him, oil blocs are owned by Niger Delta ancestors.
“We are talking of ownership of oil blocs because that is a legitimate demand. We are yet to see the demands by the federal government that oil companies should relocate to the Niger Delta.
“I don’t know of any business which justifies pipelines crisis crossing several areas for building refineries while they haven’t built refineries from the source of crude oil,” he said.