The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has urged the Federal Government to take a further step towards full deregulation of the downstream sector, saying it will enhance national economic growth.
In March this year, the government 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 in the local market through the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).
Commending the government for consistently seeking ways to reposition the oil sector for effectiveness and profitability, DAPPMAN Chairman, Mrs. Winifred Akpani, said DAPPMAN remained in full support of the implementation of a fully deregulated regime which would 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,” she said.
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.
“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, that would increase Nigeria’s human capacity index, competitiveness and ultimately drive inflow of foreign investments,” she added.
On DAPPMAN ‘s 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 the marketers had contributed towards the upgrade of medical facilities, distributed thousands of face masks and sanitizers, and donated relief items to thousands of beneficiaries across the nation.
“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,” she said.