Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) has insisted that the Federal Government takes a further step towards full deregulation of the downstream sector to enhance economic growth and development of the nation.
According to the marketers, this is the only way that private investments can be attracted to the sector and increase employment opportunities. Their insistence is coming amid the current hike in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) from N138.62 to N151.56 per litre.
Full deregulation of the sector remains the most viable option for Nigeria to effectively navigate this period and ultimately safeguard the future of our economy and wellbeing of 200 million Nigerians, they said.
The government in March of this year introduced a price modulation policy where international product prices and associated landing costs in Nigeria are used as input in determining final pricing to the local market by the government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and disclosed periodically.
Winifred Akpani, DAPPMAN chairman, while commending the government for consistently seeking ways to reposition the sector for effectiveness and profitability, said DAPPMAN was in full support of the implementation of a fully deregulated market, which will make operations in the downstream sector more seamless, enhance transparency, competitiveness, and sustainable growth.
“DAPPMAN is mindful of the commitment of the government and the functional organs managing the sector to ensuring value to every Nigerian and we salute them for this. We are indeed up against uncertain times.”
According to Akpani, deregulation will open up the sector for fresh investments, market deepening, diversification, and expansion, culminating in stable demand and supply regime which is critical to ensuring that consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable quality products without the huge financial burden currently borne by the government.
“We aware of the considerations that have dogged the issue of deregulation over the years and we believe they are very important. However, we believe these considerations will be duly addressed with a deregulated regime that guarantees long-term benefits and empowers the government to commit savings made in the process to infrastructure development, job creation, agricultural revolution, education and health. This will spur the growth of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) as well as large corporates, that would increase Nigeria’s human capacity index, competitiveness and ultimately drive inflow of foreign investments,” she added.
On its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Akpani who is also the managing director and CEO of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited said DAPPMAN has contributed towards the upgrade of medical facilities, distributed tens of thousands of masks and sanitisers; and made donations of relief items to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across the nation.
She said: “It has been a privilege for DAPPMAN to reach out to the vulnerable at this time through the association’s intervention projects and the individual efforts of our members. We continue to urge Nigerians to stay safe by strictly observing all precautionary measures to stop the spread of the virus. We will certainly overcome the pandemic working together.”
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