By Yunus Yusuf
Oil marketers and the Organised Private Sector (OPS), have suggested two regulatory bodies to regulate the oil industry under the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) currently before the National Assembly.
The oil marketers disclosed this at a joint media briefing with the OPS in Lagos, on Sunday.
Mr. Obafemi Olawore, the Executive Secretary of the Major Oil Marketers [MOMAN] warned that an omnibus or humongous commission that will be empowered to regulate the entire petroleum sector, runs contrary to industry standards.
He recommended for separate regulatory bodies for upstream and downstream, arguing that a single regulator will create complexities and challenges for operators in the petroleum value chain.
He argued that the structure, operation and nature of the downstream are totally different from that of the upstream sector, hence the need for a separate regulator for the two sectors.
“We strongly canvass the creation of two regulatory bodies each focusing on the downstream and upstream sectors of the industry and on the entire gamut of technical and commercial issues in each of the sub-sectors.
The Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), Mr Olufemi Adewole, cautioned the National Assembly against passing such bill that will give rise to a single regulator for the whole petroleum sector.
He noted that such development would give birth to bottlenecks that will negate the ease of doing business .
“The idea of a single regulator for the entire sector runs contrary to industry standards which by default creates an omnibus regulator that will further result in cumbersome and constant delays in securing the necessary approvals to conduct business.”
On his part, Mr Odiah Reginald, Chairman, Economic Policy Committee, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) who also doubles as the OPS Committee Chairman, said that the body is equally canvassing a simplified arrangement whereby the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) becomes a regulator for the downstream sector
According to him, PPPRA should be strengthened to continue to superintend the downstream sector of the Petroleum Industry while the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) oversees the upstream sector.
“This singular act has to a large extent restored the commercial viability of the sector through private sector investment.
‘‘Therefore, history and economic reasoning is on the side of two regulator- model for the petroleum sector because in the recent past, the single regulator-model has been tried and found to be inefficient and unsuccessful,’’ he said.(NAN)