Government is battling with the challenge of illegal refinaries in the Niger-Delta

Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has ordered the shutdown of illegal crude oil refining sites in the state with immediate effect, amid growing soot pollution in the state.

The governor who gave the directive on Saturday in his new year message released by Kelvin Ebiri, his spokesman, also asked council chairmen and community leaders to report those behind illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities to his office for prosecution.

Wike said the measure became imperative to contain the menace of soot pollution which has continued to endanger public health in the state.

“Since the federal security agencies have largely refused to stop the illegal crude oil refining activities in the state, we have no option than to take necessary measures to tackle this particular and direct challenge to our collective health and survival by ourselves,” he said.

“Consequently, I have directed the chairman of Port Harcourt city local government council to go after all the illegal crude oil refining sites along Creek road and adjourning areas of the city and shut them down with immediate effect.

“Furthermore, all local government chairmen are directed to work with community leaders to locate and identify those behind all illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities and report to my office for further action.”

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