Subsidy removal: Oil companies demand full deregulation of downstream sector


Some top oil and gas companies in Nigeria have called for full deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.

The indigenous oil companies, particularly those operating in the African energy space, made this known at the sixth edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit (NIES 2023) in Abuja on Thursday, April 20.

Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, Ardova Plc., Olumide Adeosun, decried the fact that deregulation, the most fundamental aspect of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA 2021), has not been implemented.

Adeosun, who is also the Chairman of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), frowned at the way the deregulation was being suspended in terms of regulations in Nigeria.

“And specifically it is around the creation of a free market where prices are determined by the forces of supply rather than by law.

“We also represent a professional association of major oil marketers association of Nigeria. So we have done a lot of the work but the challenges we face are very well documented.

“Deregulation must happen in full and it must happen immediately. We can no longer have a situation where there is a single supplier. As we are deregulating, we must make sure we have excellence execution,” he said.

The Ardova CEO appealed that the deregulation must be done in a transparent and sustainable manner while the public and relevant stakeholders are included.

Adeosun stated that deregulation, when implemented would reduce oil smuggling, increase investments to the downstream sector and redefine cash durability.

On his part, the Chairman of the Petroleum Contractors Trade Session (PCTS LCCI), Tayo Akinwunmi, urged the government to deploy technology to improve storage system to ensure affordability and sustainability.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of Deepwater, Exxonmobil Nigeria, Oladotun Isiaka, who also called for deregulation, expressed dissatisfaction over significant misalignment and overlapping roles in view of PIA implementation between agencies in the sector.

This, he said, gave room for gaps and lapses and equally made opportunities less attractive.

The Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Osagie Okunbor, however, tasked the incoming administration to fix the insecurity challenges in the industry.

“The new administration should not come in to delay on the PIA, rather they should find a willpower and focus on making it work effectively,” Okunbor stated.

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