#NODcampaign: Deregulate The Petroleum Downstream Sector NOW!

By Roberts ALI

Patriotic Nigerians united by the willingness to make a momentary sacrifice for a lasting solution to the failures of the regulation policies in the petroleum downstream sector seek public support for the complete removal of subsidies. Advocates of the Nigerian Oil Deregulation or NOD Campaign are voluntarily calling for the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry on the following grounds:

  • Given the background that our refineries are due to be fully operational, a fully deregulated petroleum downstream sector will eventually make products prices to fall below the artificially fixed N87.
  • With deregulation, more players will be attracted to invest in building local refineries and further push down the prices of petroleum products.
  • Much of the N2Bn a day subsidies do not get to the final consumers as a result of corruption in the system. These leakages can be better utilized if subsidies are removed and the savings channeled to social and infrastructural projects.
  • The regulated downstream sector gives too much power to the oil marketers and creates a near-monopoly situation where operators can gang up and organize themselves into cartels that stifle competition and blackmail the government and the public into agreeing to unfair conditions. In the recent strike conspiracy, the marketers showed that they were powerful enough to cripple the entire country.
  • The current lack of virile competition in the downstream sector has hampered the industry’s growth and limited its ability to absorb more employees and introduce service innovation.

Now that the election season is over, Nigerians must come together and build consensus across political divides to agree on a better alternative to the current state of affairs in the petroleum downstream sector, especially given the agony meted on the Nigerian public by the marketers who ironically are the biggest direct beneficiaries of the regulation of petroleum downstream sector.

The arguments around the current regulation regime can rage on for ages with no end in sight. In the meantime, the hardships will continue. And so will the corruption and lost opportunities for an improved economy. But we cannot continue with an old approach which has so far not yielded the desired results. Most people with the credible economic awareness know that we will be better off without the regulation arrangements in Nigeria, but have hitherto not offered their voices in the call for deregulation for political reasons. It’s now time to drop all selfish political inclinations in the interest of our nation.

We must move to encourage the current government to fully deregulate the petroleum downstream sector by joining the NOD Campaign to educate as many Nigerians as possible on the clear benefits of deregulation.

An important failure of the current regulation arrangement is that it focuses on quantity control at the cost of a more strategic quality control approach. By adding our voices to the growing call for deregulation, we can achieve more value by helping to foster more competition, and consequently more efficiency at lower prices, while guaranteeing safer products through a more robust quality control administration.

WHEREAS, through the years, Oil regulation have failed to support economic and technological changes to provide a rewarding way of life; and

WHEREAS, today, most of the major players in the oil sector have failed to contribute to a strong and stable economy as the oil subsidy benefits only them

WHEREAS, more than 60 percent of the 180,000,000 Nigerians are poor and the regulation policy is an inefficient tool for poverty reduction; and

WHEREAS, we believe that patriotic Nigerians should be interested in our mission and vision and that without one voice, we may fall short of achieving our national goal. Hence we call upon every Nigerian to support this campaign

We are One Nigeria. Let’s speak in One Voice for our benefit.

Please join the NOD Campaign ( http://tinyurl.com/psu3ffa) by signing and spreading the word.