The Chairman of the Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP), Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, has hailed the decision by the federal government to deregulate the petrol arm of the down stream oil and gas sector.
He, however, remarked that government would inevitably have to go the whole hug by embarking on full deregulation with no form of price fixing whatsoever.
“We believe total deregulation, meaning without any price fixing, may well be inevitable, but we fully support this needful policy.”
Umar noted that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) might be ill-equipped to drive the success of the programme due an abject lack of capacity to meet the astronomical rise in demand for fuel products occasioned by “serial failure of past administrations to expand and maintain the decaying downstream oil infrastructure.
“The remarkable tendency of Nigerian public officials to mismanage public enterprises which creates all sorts of system malfunctions and failures. These could be seen in the dismal failure to maintain the refineries, oil pipelines, storage facilities, distribution system and subsidy regimes.
“The humongous amount of public funds that have been deployed in the sustenance of this wasteful system with dubious benefits to the general public, which leaves government with no alternative than to direct its meagre resources in the provision of other more beneficial and essential social services like education and health.”
He stated further that offering subsidy on petrol cannot be the only assistance government can render citizens.
Adding “Our stand does not in any way seek to deny the right of others to disagree.
“We actually understand and respect the rights of those equally well meaning Nigerians who have already made public their dissension. We however expect them to justify their disagreement by providing better options supported by facts and figures, failing which we remain resolute in supporting governments’ decision.
“We also have a duty to appeal to them not to derail a beneficial and well intentioned policy out of a desire to work cheap popularity, while creating more economic hardship for the very people they need to protect.”