Recently-appointed group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Emmanuel Kachikwu, has made a move for the deregulation of Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.
The NNPC GMD, who was recently appointed by president Muhammadu Buhari, made this call on Thursday, at the 2015 National Association of Energy Correspondents conference, held in Lagos.
Premium Times reports that the NNPC boss, represented by Bolanle Ashafa, Acting Managing Director of Nigeria Engineering and Technical Company (NETCO), revealed the importance and significance of deregulation, while noting that it would encourage domestic private sector participation and inflow of foreign investments.
“Implementation of the policy will entrench efficiency in product usage, product availability and effective competition among investors, hence ending products shortage.
“However, critical enablers such as security of supply and distribution infrastructure must be assured to guarantee the availability of the petroleum products at affordable prices,” Kachikwu said.
He stated further that the corporation was fully committed to reforming existing refineries, to boost domestic petroleum products supply, adding also that the refineries had been re-streamed, but were yet to attain optimal capacity in production.
According to him: “removal of price control mechanisms is deemed imperative to ensure full growth of the sub-sector, by allowing private stakeholders to complement the effort of government in developing the industry.”
While reassuring Nigerians that NNPC would continue to maintain stability in the supply and distribution of petroleum products nationwide, Kachikwu averred that the Nigerian oil and gas industry would be transformed for greater efficiency and sustainable growth, through market reforms, diversification of the revenue base and monetisation of the natural gas resources.
“We will focus on the need to address infrastructure constraints, to ensure sustainability of gas and petroleum products supply and distribution nationwide.
“We will be tackling infrastructure gaps and promoting inclusive growth, as well as capacity building,” he said.
Only yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Austin Avuru, revealed that Nigeria would be refining 1.2 million barrels of crude oil daily by year 2020.