Bayelsa Deputy Gov expresses confidence on Nigerian engineers

john-jonahREAR Admiral John Jonah (rtd), the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa has expressed ample confidence in the capacity of Nigerian engineers to build local refineries in the country.

Jonah stated this on Wednesday when he received a delegation of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Yenagoa.

He said that building local refineries and producing equipment and components in-country would go a long way to boost the local content and manpower base of the nation.

Jonah emphasised the need to discourage reliance on foreign equipment and materials for the country’s industrial needs and services.

He noted that allowing Nigerian engineers to construct local refineries and other industrial requirements would increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and stimulate the economy.

He said he was delighted that the NSChE had demonstrated the determination to ensure that “we start producing things in-country.”

Jonah also challenged the NSChE to champion the advocacy for safe environment, stressing that Nigerian waters especially are dangerous due to the massive pollution of the waters.

“We can get things right when we start thinking inwards, and start producing things for ourselves.

“I agree with you that Nigeria today has the capacity to provide local refineries. When you are producing an equipment locally, the amount that you spend increases your GDP. If you procure outside the country, you are adding to the GDP of other countries.

“There are several advantages producing things locally. That’s the only way we can develop ourselves; that is the only way we can create opportunities for the young ones,” Jonah said

Earlier in his remarks, Prof Sunday Adefila, National President of the NSChE told Jonah, that the courtesy visit was part of activities of the NSChE’s annual general meeting/conference scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Port Harcourt.

The meeting was hosted by the Rivers/Bayelsa branch of the body.

He said chemical engineers, who are essentially process engineers, were at the centre of construction of refineries and related facilities using the indices of environment, economic, energy and improved quality as major planks of consideration for such ventures.

Adefila, who described Bayelsa as the seat of Nigeria’s local content giving the large oil and gas deposits in the state’s environment, said “the NSChE can, and is able to do Nigerian refineries.

He added that members of the society are ready to be worthy stakeholders and are also available to be used for worthwhile partnerships with the state government.

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