If the downstream industry is completely deregulated, the nation stands to save about N12 trillion, which could be used to fund other areas of the country’s growth.
Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, group managing director of Rainoil Limited, said this while discussing the advantages of deregulation at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) Strategic International Conference, which just ended in Lagos and has as its theme: “Energy Transition, PIA, Petroleum Pricing and the Way Forward for the Downstream Sector.”
He claimed that the current global average price for PMS was N516 per litre, significantly higher than the N175 per litre it is currently being sold in Nigeria, and he urged the government to not only deregulate but also to implement a gasoline tax to pay for the upkeep and development of vital infrastructure throughout the nation.
He said that while Nigerians are not opposed to subsidy elimination, PMS users simply want a limited amount of certainty on the topic and the government’s cushioning effects.
The petroleum industry act, he added, continues to be the magic solution for expanding the downstream business, but he bemoaned the enormous sum that has already been spent on fuel subsidies.
Ogbechie stated during one of the panelist sessions that given the significant advantages of a deregulated petroleum environment, the topic of deregulation has become a policy direction for the downstream petroleum industry.
The Rainoil CEO used the conference as an opportunity to highlight his company’s contribution to Nigeria’s downstream petroleum industry. He stated that Rainoil Limited currently has more than forty LPG trucks in its business bank and retail locations spread out across the nation.
‘’As a prominent player in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, Ogbechie said the company’s operations cut across the downstream value chain including petroleum product storage, haulage/distribution and retail sales. The company’s primary products he disclosed included petrol (PMS), Diesel (AGO), kerosene (DPK) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).’’
He said that this year was Rainoil’s 25th anniversary. He claimed that the business, which had no prior experience, had been created from the ground up to become one of the most significant and powerful players in Nigeria’s downstream oil and gas industry.