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Full deregulation an enabler for private sector investment – Marketers

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Full deregulation an enabler for private sector investment - Marketers
Full deregulation an enabler for private sector investment – Marketers

By Sebastine Obasi

Marketers operating in Nigeria’s downstream sector of the oil industry have reiterated that deregulation remains the enabler for private sector investment in the sector

Speaking at the just concluded Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Summit Webinar, in Lagos the marketers stated that the downstream sector requires significant investment so as to drive the supply chain.

The panellists who spoke at the online discussion were Mr. Adetunji Oyebanji, Managing Director, 11 Plc and Chairman Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), Dame Winifred N. Akpani, MD/CEO Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited and also the Chairman Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN). Others included Amina Maina, Group Chief Operating Officer MRS Holdings Limited, Mr. Huub Stokman, CEO OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Dr. Billy S. Gillis-Harry, National President Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), Dr. Timothy E. Okon, Managing Partner Teno Energy Resources Limited and Mr. Stanislas Drochon, Head of Africa Strategy and Transformation PUMA Energy who dialled in from Johannesburg, South Africa.

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They expressed delight that government was taking the issue of full deregulation seriously, noting that the country would benefit by going beyond the current steps taken. They also expressed their full support for government policy on alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas, CNG. According to them, maintaining petrol subsidy (which results in operational inefficiencies and is not sustainable) would not be an appropriate channel to support or plan for the future of Nigeria. On the other hand, removal of price control, allowing market forces and competition to determine prices, especially for PMS will benefit the country and the industry, they said.

They maintained that appropriate new legislation needed to be put in place and enforced as deregulation could only be as effective as the legal framework put in place to guide it. For them, the survival and indeed, the growth of the downstream oil industry is important to Nigeria and Nigerians as it already provides employment directly and indirectly to millions of the citizenry through the industrial sector, construction sector, transportation sector, station sales and administrative personnel, regulatory personnel and other businesses that service and support the downstream,.

According to the panelists, money saved from subsidy can be used to grow the economy by investing in infrastructure, educating the next generation of Nigerians and keeping the population healthy. “This in turn will generate revenue for the country, creating an avenue for Nigeria to leave the poverty trap and emerge as the refining hub for West and Central Africa.”

It was gathered that a total number of 748 people registered for this webinar with a peak attendance of 304 at the same time during the event.  The organisations represented included government agencies, industry regulators, state governments, market operators, international traders, Civil Society Organizations, members of the press, consulting firms, Colleges and Universities.

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