The Ijaw Professionals Association (IPA) has urged the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to formalise the activities of artisanal refineries to create jobs in the Niger Delta.

Iniruo Wills, IPA President, in a statement in Yenagoa, urged NCDMB to convert unregulated artisanal refining into a standardised and sustainable local economy of mini-refineries.

The group congratulated Simbi Wabote on his appointment as NCDMB Executive Secretary and urged him to enhance the participation of indigenes of host communities in the petroleum industry.

IPA urged the board to address issues pollution control in the petroleum sector to ensure that the sector operated in an environmentally sustainable manner.

He said there was urgent need to develop adequate indigenous and in-country capacity for dealing with environmental disasters inflicted on host communities by the petroleum industry over the years.

According to IPA, indigenous capacity building by NCMDB is required in organisational, logistical, human and financial capacities of oil-bearing communities to participate and compete favourably in the sector.