The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has lauded the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s reform of the country’s downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
In a statement signed by the Director-General, Muda Yusuf, the chamber noted that though previous attempts had failed, the impact of the reforms, should it take off, would be invaluable to the Nigerian economy.
The statement read in part, “The decision of the NNPC to put an end to the subsidy/under recovery regime is a welcome development. It will be a game-changer for the oil and gas sector and the economy as a whole. The impact would be invaluable.
“However, it is vital to ensure that this new policy direction will be entrenched, so that there will be no contemplation of any form of reversal. We are aware of similar attempts to undertake this crucial reform in the past, which had not been successful. However, we are confident that in the current dispensation, this will not be the case.”
The chamber requested urgent steps to be taken to consummate the reform process with the appropriate legal framework.
It admitted that deregulation of the downstream sector was critical to the reform as it would free up resources for investment in critical infrastructure such as power, roads, the rail systems, healthcare delivery and education.
The proposed reform will also unlock the huge private investment potential in the downstream sector with regard to petroleum products refining, while eliminating patronage, rent seeking and corruption in the sector.
The reform, according to the chamber, will also create more jobs for youths of the country in the downstream oil sector, as it will attract improved investments.
The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had disclosed that an end has come for the era of petroleum subsidy.