Stakeholders canvass for 2 regulatory bodies for petroleum industry

Only Abuja residents paid N145 per litre of petrol in March - NBS
United Bank for Africa

Oil marketers and the Organised Private Sector (OPS) on Sunday canvassed for two regulatory bodies to regulate the oil industry in the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) pending before the National Assembly.

The oil marketers disclosed this at a joint media briefing with the OPS in Lagos, faulted the single regulatory body for the Petroleum industry as recommended in the PIGB pending before the National Assembly.

Mr Obafemi Olawore, the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers [MOMAN] warned that  an omnibus or humongous commission that will be empowered to regulate the entire petroleum sector, runs contrary to industry standards which by default already provide for an Upstream and Downstream Regulator.

He recommended for separate regulatory bodies for upstream and downstream, arguing  that  single regulator will create complexities and challenges for operators in the petroleum value chain.

He said that because the structure, operation and nature of the downstream are totally different from that of the upstream sector.

According to him, a single regulator will create complexities and challenges for operators in the petroleum value chain because the structure, operation and nature of the downstream are totally different from that of the upstream sector.

“We strongly canvass for the creation of two regulatory bodies each focusing on the downstream and upstream sectors of the Industry and on the entire gamut of technical and commercial issues in each of the sub-sectors.

“Being mindful of need to merge and streamline the number of existing regulatory agencies in the face of dwindling revenue of government.

“ we hereby affirm that there is no need creating another regulatory agency that will further swell the list of existing agencies with similar functions and duplicated mandates.

On his part, Adewole regretted that the position of MOMAN and DAPPMAN at the public hearing on the PIGB advising against a single regulator for the industry was not taking into consideration in the final harmonization of the PIGB.

‘‘ We marketers were at the PIGB public hearing at the National Assembly. And there we made our position known that a single industry regulator would be inimical to the growth of the industry. But to our surprise, our position was not taking into cognizance in the harmonized PIGB.

It is in the light of this error of omission that we are calling on the National Assembly to withdraw the PIGB and include the position of stakeholders on this, so that we don’t have a defective law that will create  problems in the future,’’ he said.

On his part, Odiah, lamented that a critical stakeholder as the OPS was not invited to make submissions at the public hearing on the PIGB.

The denial of the OPS to have an input in the PIGB according to him amounts to shaving ones hair behind him.

He noted that the OPS as a stakeholder in petroleum sector value chain, making use of huge quantity of petroleum products including gas should not be left out in the scheme of things

He argued that a single regulator for the petroleum industry will do the industry more harm than good, adding that having two regulators for the petroleum industry will create room for effective policing of the sector.

Odiah, said more worrisome is the idea by the National Assembly to jettison the position paper of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which largely represents the views of the OPS on the PIGB which included the idea of having two industry regulators for the petroleum industry.