NECA decries policy flip flop in downstream oil sector

Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) is insisting the Federal Government fully deregulate the downstream oil sector, and allow market forces determine the prices of petroleum products, saying unclear policy is unhealthy for the economy.
NECA has also restated the compelling need for the government to privatise the four public refineries, again, dubbing them a drain and liability on the national economy rather than an asset.
The association notes that the seemingly lack of political will to take a decisive action on the refineries was bleeding the economy, as public funds regularly injected in the refineries were not yielding the desired value.
The employers’ body, which is also a key member of the Organised Private Sector (OPS), has also taken up the government on what it termed “an unending saga of fuel subsidy regime,” accusing the Federal Government of lack of transparency in the subsidy funding mechanism.
Larry Ettah, out-gone president of NECA, at the association’s 61st annual general meeting held in Lagos, last week, decried government’s policy flip flop with regard to the deregulation of the downstream sector.
Ettah said: “Following government’s policy declaration in 2016 of the enthronement of deregulation in the oil and gas downstream sector of the economy, which was commended, the stakeholders had thought that at last the market dynamics would henceforth be allowed to dictate the prices and supply of petroleum products in the economy.
“In the light of the current circumstance of monopoly of the supply of fuel products by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the negative price variance between pump price and landing price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which has resulted in NNPC’s ‘under recovery of cost’ amounting to almost N1.7 trillion, it is very evident that government has not been faithful to its policy and the subsidy regime is back in a far more vicious form.”
The association said it was worrying that the funding mechanism for the subsidy was shrouded in opaqueness, saying it expect the government to be transparent in its management of this new subsidy dispensation.
“We wish to affirm that the way to the future still remains de-regulation and we hope the government will summon the necessary political will to allow market factors to drive the operation of the downstream oil and gas sector,” NECA said.
You might also like