By Luka Binniyat
ABUJA â€“ GROUP Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Sanusi Barkindo, yesterday, in Abuja informed the House of Representatives that Acting President Jonathan Goodluck has given his approval for the deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector.
Barkindo who made the declaration before the Hon. Clever Ikisikpo House Committee on Petroleum, Downstream, said that Acting President Jonathan was all for the fast deregulation of fuel supply and distribution sector
The NNPC group managing director who was coerced to attend the meeting following the Houseâ€™ threat to issue a warrant for his arrest after three consecutive non-appearances, informed the lawmakers that by the enthusiasm shown by the acting President over the controversial issue, the deregulation of the sector may take off faster than imagined.
He said: â€œI got from the Acting President his commitment, personal commitment. I can disclose to you here, that he is committed to deregulation of the downstream, and he is not joking about it. He charged us to conclude all consultations, because as a democratic government, he does not want to take a unilateral decision.
â€œHe is convinced, just like you (committee members) are, that in the long run we have to fundamentally address these challenges once and for all. We have to change the operating environment. And itâ€™s only through the deregulation of the downstream sector together with provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB. But we must go and consult with all the stakeholders.
â€œHe, however, charged us to consult with all stake holders. Nigerians from all walks of life who hope to continue to purchase fuel at N65 per litre may be in for a shock as deregulation would soon set in.â€