The Coalition of Nigerian Civil Society Organisations for Petroleum and Energy Security has backed the government’s deregulation drive, urging the organised labour to support government’s efforts to promote the growth of the sector.
Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva had in March 2020 announced full deregulation of the downstream sector, leading to an increase in petrol price.
While addressing the journalists on Saturday, the CONCSOPES Convener, Timothy Ademola, said that ensuring full deregulation of the sector would promote growth and development.
He said, “It will do our nation much good if our respected Labour Leaders spearheading the resistance to deregulation would recognise that deregulation has largely stabilised petroleum products supply over this past year.
“Once the foreign exchange issue that has made it difficult for major and independent marketers to engage in importation of petroleum products is resolved, the other gains of deregulation will kick in and Nigerians will be better for it.
“The market stabilisation that has been brought about by the past one year of deregulation is strong assurance that full deregulation is the way to go if Nigerians are to enjoy the full benefits of their hydrocarbon wealth.”
Ademola further noted that resisting deregulation would slow down national progress, adding that the sectoral growth is critical to infrastructure development among others.
“We are saying that deregulation is good while boosting our local and national capacity of producing oil. That kind of deregulation for us is deregulation with human face. It is not just deregulation to absorb cost but it will be the one that will scrap absorption of cost.”
Similarly, Henry Adigun, in his remarks, noted that deregulation remains critical to ensuring development in the downstream sector.
He added that while petrol is only an aspect of the deregulation debate, kerosene has been selling at a higher price in the country’s black market since the last four years.
He said, “The point is that government cannot sustain subsidy on petrol at N2.4bn weekly as at today.”