Malam Bello Rabiu , a Former Chief Operating Officer, Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says that full deregulation of the Nigerian downstream oil sector does not stop with removal of subsidies by the government.
Rabiu disclosed this in a report presented at a Media Education series on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on Deregulation of the Downstream Petroleum sector obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Sunday.
NAN reports that the Federal government in March 2020 announced the full deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector.
The Development which was supported by stakeholders in the industry brought about monthly increment in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol as government removed payment of subsidy to allow market forces to determine the price of petrol.
The price of Petrol since the announcement had increased from N145 to about N170 per litre in various petrol stations across the country.
“Full deregulation is not limited to removal of Government subsidies alone, it will require the creation of competitive market environment which will require the supply of products at commercial prices to consumers.
“Competent players must be allowed to fully participate to grow the market through deployment of technology, good governance and international best practices, ’he said
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According to him, unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure must be open to all players.
This, he said would be achieved through a level playing field adding that deregulation must allow reasonable earnings to investors.
Rabiu noted that a strong regulator was required to actualise full deregulation of the petroleum sector and not a regulator for price fixing of products.
“A strong regulator is required to monitor and enable transparent and fair competition among players in the industry, ’he added.
He further noted that full deregulation must have effective control of natural monopolies such as pipelines and protect consumers and prevent market dominance.
He called for the passage of PIB to back the deregulation policy with law and to enable Nigerians benefit effectively.
“Full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector is a critical National Economic and Strategic endeavour requiring the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to implement.
“All hands should be on deck to ensure the attainment of transparent, competitive efficient and sustainable liberalised downstream sector in Nigeria,’’ he said