No Going Back On Oil Sector Deregulation – Minister


The Federal Government is not going back in its plan to deregulate the downstream sector, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dein Ajumogobia has said.
Ajumogobia, who stated this in an exclusive interview with The Tide recently at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, said that the Federal Government is currently doing the necessary home work to ensure that when the deregulation starts, it would be sustained.
According to him, the process is not simply to allow marketers to sell petroleum products at any price they like, but that government is working out a guideline that will create a level playing field for all.
In his words, “It is not a simple matter of allowing people to sell fuel at any price they like, that is not deregulation, government wants those entering into the business to know the criteria and also guard them in their activities”.
The move, he said would discourage another kind of cartel who would want to take over the business and dictate prices, noting that government was committed in making the product available at all times.
“The issue of downstream have been emotive, people feel that when the price of fuel goes up, cost of things and transportation will equally go up and this will encourage hardship. But recently, this administration for the first time reduced the pump price from N70 to N65, the prices of transportation and food items didn’t come down. So, if it is directly, relative, it would have come down”, he said.
Ajumogobia, however, said that the Federal Government believed that deregulating the downstream oil sector would open a new opportunity for investment which will create wealth.