Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this training meeting today. Gathered under this roof today are some of the finest and creative minds our country can boast of which by the special grace of God are sons and daughters of this great State in the Niger delta.
Before I proceed, I would like to thank Peace and Development, Caritas, Canada for sponsoring this project, Society For Women And Youth Affairs (SWAYA) for her overseeing role and lastly, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), the implementing partner. I have no doubt in my mind that the goals of this project will be met.
My dear people of Niger delta, I know we have been frustrated by perceived lack of benefits from oil production in our communities and have been abandoned by multinationals after decades of oil exploration. It is well understood from statistical evidence that unemployment rate in our country today is on the rise, we are in the midst of economic crisis, our environment has been badly polluted. Our aquatic lives are depopulating while some are going extinct, many of our fisher men and women can no longer go for fishing, our peasant farmers have completely lost their only means of livelihood. New diseases are evolving, the ozone layers are depleting on a daily basis. The manner we are sourcing and using our energy is threatening our planet and our very existence. This issue is burning, hence the need to take this training to you today.
My good people of Bayelsa State, the activities of artisanal crude oil refiners are part of some the things that have degraded our environment. I have personally studied the skills that are needed to do artisanal crude oil refining and discovered that if you can design fractional distillation system and understand different boiling points of petroleum products without a university degree, then there is nothing that you conceive in your mind to do that you cannot do. You can create ideas that can make you an employer of over 500 labours, you can design something that can engage professors to work for you. It is possible. The global economy is going green. Therefore, we need to prepare ourselves to move with the global community.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you take away the environment, then you take away the entire lives of living organisms which includes you and I. Our environment is our live. Every living organism relate with its environment, when you take away the environment, you take away these relationships which means dead. There is nothing like the ecological system. My dear people of Niger delta, I know and understand we have been frustrated by perceived lack of benefits from oil production in our communities and have been abandoned by multinationals after decades of oil exploration. Also, Artisanal refining has impacted negatively on our environment, health and economy. These challenges are real and can only be solved by the decisions that we take here today collectively. We cannot continue to pollute our environment, there are more better ways we can do it and make more money, name and fame.
Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of this training today, we must take a bold step to make quality decisions that will sustain the population of the aquatic lives, plants and all living organisms for the unborn generation. The only sustainable alternative is to turn to renewable energy and there is no better time than now. We can look into renewable energy sources like Solar Panel Sales and Distribution, Solar Panel Installation, Bio-fuel Production, Wind Energy Installation, Solar water pumping system, Solar refrigeration system, Power Storage (Inverters & UPS), ect. When we do this, we will not only create new jobs, but to lay new foundation for growth.
From amongst you, we can key into these opportunities and make our environment safe, have good health and even become great entrepreneurs that the world will celebrate. It is possible.
I have a firm believe that at the end of this training, you will be equipped with information that is capable of unlocking your hidden potentials to do exploits in the renewable energy industry. Thank you for your patient attention.
Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene speaking at the program)
In his opening remarks, the Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, Comrade Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface said the program is organized in partnership with Society for Women and Youths Affairs (SWAYA) with funding support from Development and Peace, Canada. Mr. Fyneface further stated that “the project being implemented for which we are here is titled “Youths Training on conflict resolution and alternative livelihood through modular refineries for environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta” adding that the training today would be replicated in Rivers State for youths involved in artisanal refining. Mr. Fyneface who is also the facilitator of platform for the coordination of Niger Delta Ex-artisanal Refiners with a view of preparing them to benefit from the modular refineries promised by the Federal Government as well as other alternative livelihood sources for environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta told the participants in his speech that the objective of the training is to “make youths involved in acts of artisanal refining that causes environmental pollution to have alternative means of livelihoods through renewable energy and modular refineries and to prepare the youths for the modular refinery proposed by the federal government through the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo during his tour of the Niger Delta region in 2017”. He urged the youths to “stop acts of artisanal refining that contributes to the environmental pollution in the Niger Delta”