Stakeholders in the Downstream Sector of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry, including the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, have lauded the Federal Government for the courage to tackle the challenges in the Downstream Sector frontally.
A statement by the spokesman of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that the stakeholders gave the commendation at a Downstream stakeholders’ meeting, which held at the NNPC Towers, Abuja.
Speaking at the meeting, the President of MOMAN, Tunji Oyebanji, said the Federal Government has displayed utmost pragmatism by applying economic solution to the age-long challenges in the Downstream rather than the political solutions applied in the past, which were not sustainable.
Oyebanji commended the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari, for extending the engagement to the leaders of oil workers’ unions who have always been opposed to deregulation and called on them to adopt a different approach to the issues this time around.
He said: “This is the first time we are having NUPENG and PENGASSAN in the meeting.
“This underlines the style of the GMD.
“I commend him.
“We can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”
On her part, the Vice President of Depots and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria, Hajia Amina Maina, said the subsidy regime was of no benefit to anyone and commended the GMD for the engagement.
All the stakeholders present, including the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, pledged their support for the efforts of the Federal Government and NNPC to ensure a viable and sustainable Downstream Petroleum Sector.
Speaking earlier, Kyari disclosed that concrete steps have been taken to address the main concerns of marketers, especially the issue of availability of forex, stressing that the Central Bank of Nigeria has already taken the first step of merging all forex windows to have a unified exchange rate.
He said: “It is really not in our interest to be the sole importer of PMS in the country.
“We have taken definite steps to exit the situation.
“This is a definite step taken and the details would be communicated to stakeholders like MOMAN, DAPMAN, IPMAN and others outside this forum.”
On the issue of subsidy on forex for marketers, he explained that the government spent N2.13 trillion from 2016 to 2019, describing the situation as unsustainable and unprogressive.
Mallam Kyari said there were plans by the government to inject about N2.7 trillion into the economy to stimulate production, stabilise the exchange rate and cushion the inflationary effect of the pump price increase.
He also revealed that in response to the concerns raised recently by members of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners over the state of roads, especially those on the Niger State axis, the Federal Government has commenced aggressive road repair works to allay their fears.
The NNPC helmsman said measures have been put in place to ensure adequate supply of petroleum products for the end of year festivities and the projected increase in movement of people across the length and breadth of the country.
He said the Federal Government was keen on driving the deregulation programme to create value for the country and ensure that Nigerians enjoy the benefits.
In his remarks, the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Sarki Auwalu, who was represented by the agency’s Assistant Director, Depots, Products and Jetties, Bashir Sadiq, said government was interested in opening up the Downstream Sector, adding that the DPR was in support of NNPC’s initiatives in the sector.