Mr Bello Rabiu , a Former Chief Operating Officer Upstream of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has said that full deregulation of the downstream oil sector does not stop with removal of subsidies by the government.
Rabiu disclosed this in a report presented at a Media Education series on Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) on Deregulation of the Downstream Petroleum sector.
The Federal government in March 2020 announced the full deregulation of the downstream oil and gas sector.
The Development which was supported by stakeholders in the industry brought about monthly increment in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol as government removed payment of subsidy to allow market forces to determine the price of petrol.
The price of Petrol since the announcement had increased from N145 to about N170 per liter in various petrol stations across the country.
“Full deregulation is not limited to removal of Government subsidies alone, it will require the creation of competitive market environment which will require the supply of products at commercial prices to consumers.
“Competent players must be allowed to fully participate to grow the market through deployment of technology, good governance and international best practices,’’ he said
According to him, unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure must be open to all players.
This, he said would be achieved through a level playing field adding that deregulation must allow reasonable earnings to investors.
Rabiu noted that a strong regulator was required to actualize full deregulation of the petroleum sector and not a regulator for price fixing of products.
“A strong regulator is required to monitor and enable transparent and fair competition among players in the industry,’’ he added.
He further noted that full deregulation must have effective control of natural monopolies such as pipelines and protect consumers and prevent market dominance.
He called for the passage of PIB to back the deregulation policy with law and to enable Nigerians benefit effectively.
“Full deregulation of the downstream petroleum sector is a critical National economic and strategic endavour requiring the support and cooperation of all stakeholders to implement.
“All hands should be on deck to ensure the attainment of transparent, competitive efficient and sustainable liberalized downstream sector in Nigeria,’’ he said.
FAAN won’t shutdown Kaduna Airport despite attack on workers – MD
By Adekunle Williams and Yunus Yusuf
Ikeji, March 7, 2021 (NAN) The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has allayed the fear of a possible shutdown of the Kaduna International Airport, in spite of Saturday’s attack on its workers.
The Managing Director (MD) of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu, made the disclosure during an oversight visit by the Senate Committee on Aviation to various airport agencies in Lagos.
Yadudu said the management of FAAN, the state government and the various security agencies would not relent in their efforts at ensuring the safety of humans and equipment at all the airports across the country.
He said FAAN had already beefed up security networks at all the nation’s airports, adding that the current attack would not discourage it from clamping down on any heinous crime anywhere within the sector.
He said: “This incident is entirely different from closing down the airport. It is a security concern that we have at our staff quarters.
“A lot of our staff do not even live in these quarters. If there is need for us to close, we will close it, but this is even far away from it.
“There is no need for that drastic action. Just small percentage of our staff stay in the staff quarters; the rest are all living in the town.
“You can see that the staff quarters are fenced. We are taking appropriate measures, but like I said, we just have to improve to counter these challenges.
“Even though the fence was broken, but somehow, somewhere, things happened and now it is time for us to counter as we have been doing always.”
Yadudu insisted that FAAN had since 2020 further beefed up security at the various airports across the country, which had foiled attacks in the sector.
Responding, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the committee, regretted the sordid security challenges that had pervaded the country in recent times.
Adeyemi, however, canvassed for the embrace of local government policing, stressing that Nigeria, as a federating unit, should not shy away from taking a decisive action to tackle the menace.
The senator explained that despite the increase in the population of the country over the years, the security architecture remained the same, while Nigeria was faced with porous borders.
He agitated for the restructuring of the entire country in a bid to address the various security challenges confronting it and wondered why some continued to kick against restructuring.
The committee chairman maintained that the agitation for restructuring won’t lead to the secession of the country, as claimed in some quarters.
Adeyemi noted that the time had come for Nigeria to look at, not just a state police, but a local government policing.
This, he attributed as the factor behind the effective security system of the United States.
“There is a need for us to develop new security architecture for Nigeria; our population has increased and we are still faced with porous borders.
“Nigeria is not a clear cut federal system. I don’t know how to describe this country; federal system or unitary system, but I do know that Nigeria is said to be a federation and all nations where federalism is practiced, we do not run a unitary system of policing.
“I think the time has come for Nigeria to evolve a system that will appreciate the size of the nation and the diversities.
“You don’t recruit a graduate that graduated from the University of Maiduguri, for instance, and you post him to Lagos to come and police. He doesn’t know the system and the areas. So, criminals can take advantage of that.
Also, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, the Managing Director of NAMA, appealed to the Federal Government to improve aviation security across the airports in the country.
Akinkuotu said this would further protect aviation infrastructure across the country.
He lamented that almost 24 hours after kidnappers abducted its staff, five family members and three other persons at the Kaduna airport, their abductors were yet to make contact with the agency. (NAN)