BY UDEME CLEMENT
The Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN) has said that the pressure mounted on the Federal Government recently to implement the deregulation exercise with a view to restructuringÂ the operations in the downstream sector of Nigeriaâ€™s economy may not yield positive result until government concludesÂ its negotiation with labour leadersÂ in the country.
The executive secretary of MOMAN, Mr. Obafemi Olawore, said government may not want to hurriedly embark on the deregulationÂ without proper consultationsÂ and exhaustive deliberationsÂ with the representatives of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) andÂ Trade Union Congress (TUC) to avoidÂ industrial action capable of crippling economic activities in the country.
Olawore told Sunday Vanguard:Â â€œThough most people are calling on the government to commerce full deregulation of the downstream sector, we are aware that government is stillÂ in the process of negotiation with labour leaders, after which it would implement the deregulation exercise. We believe that government wants to follow due process in putting in place efficient management structure in the industry.
â€œThe acting president, Goodluck Jonathan, has taken the initiative to set up a committee, charged with the responsibility of looking at the entire process of deregulation. We believe that government has done the right thing and this would enableÂ it carry out the deregulation procedures appropriatelyâ€.
Accordingly, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, recently advised government to implement deregulation to ensure that fuel subsidy is completely removed from the sector.
He faulted government on the slow pace of the exercise after making a public pronouncement to restructure the industry and make it function as a commercial ventureÂ capable of generating more revenue for the economy.Â The CBN has also made known its plan to release N500 billion, which would be disbursed by the Bank of Industry (BOI) for power projects to enhance capacity utilisation in the power sector.