The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has commended the effort being made by the federal government to transform the downstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Acknowledging the latest decision of the government to allow market forces determine petrol prices in the country, DAPPMAN, however, urged the federal government to take further step towards full deregulation of the downstream sector to enhance economic growth and development of the nation.
The government had in March this year, introduced a price modulation policy where international product prices and associated landing costs in Nigeria are used as input in the determination of final pricing to the local market by government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and disclosed periodically.
In a statement, DAPPMAN Chairman, Mrs. Winifred Akpani, commended the government for consistently seeking ways to reposition the sector for effectiveness and profitability.
She said DAPPMAN remained in full support of the implementation of a fully deregulated regime, which will make the downstream sector’s operations more seamless, enhance transparency, competitiveness and sustainable growth.
“DAPPMAN is mindful of the commitment of the government and the functional organs managing the sector to ensuring value to every Nigerian and we salute them for this as we are indeed up against uncertain times.
“However, we believe that full deregulation of the sector remains the most viable option for Nigeria to effectively navigate this period and ultimately safeguard the future of our economy and wellbeing of 200 million Nigerians.”
According to Akpani, deregulation will open up the sector for fresh investments, market deepening, diversification, and expansion, culminating in stable demand and supply regimes which are critical to ensuring that consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable quality products without the huge financial burden currently borne by the government”.
She further said: “DAPPMAN is aware of the considerations that have dogged the issue of deregulation over the years and we believe they are very important.
“However, we believe these considerations will be duly addressed with a deregulation regime that guarantees long-term benefits and empowers the government to commit savings made in the process to infrastructure development, job creation, agricultural revolution, education and health.
“This will spur growth of Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) as well as large corporates, which would increase Nigeria’s human capacity index, competitiveness and ultimately drive inflow of foreign investments.”
On its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Akpani who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, said DAPPMAN had contributed towards the upgrade of medical facilities, distributed tens of thousands of masks and sanitizers; and made donations of relief items to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across the nation.
She added: “It has been a privilege for DAPPMAN to reach out to the vulnerable at this time through the Association’s intervention projects and the individual efforts of our members. We continue to urge the good people of Nigeria to stay safe by strictly observing all precautionary measures to stop the spread of the virus. We will certainly overcome the pandemic working together.”