The deregulation of the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria will increase investment in the refining business and facilitate exponential growth in the nation’s refining capacity.
This was the submission of the group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, at the opening ceremony of the A f r i c a n R e fi n e r s A s s o c i a t i o n ( A R A ) We e k 2020 which held virtually with the theme: “Towards Cleaner Fuels for Cleaner Air.”
A press release by the group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, stated that the GMD delivered a keynote address entitled, “Vision for the Downstream Sector on the Continent,” at the event in which he advo- cated deeper collaboration among down- stream players across the African continent to provide solutions to challenges of substandard fuels.
Mallam Kyari said though the idea of price stabilisation which led to the intro- duction of fuel subsidy in the 1970s was noble, it had grown into a huge financial burden on the nation’s treasury over the years, necessitating its removal in March 2020.
He stressed that the move will not only free up much-needed cash to fund infra- structural development, but will also elim- inate market distortion, foster competition between operators, get more private sec- tor players to build refineries in the coun- try and promote efficiency across the en- tire value chain.
He said increasing Africa’s refining ca- pacity as well as quality of fuel required re- spective refineries to implement sustaina- ble, coordinated pan-African solutions that would meet the target fuel specifications and thus protect the health and wellbeing of African nations and their citizenry.