Managing Director of Rainoil, a storage and distribution company, Gabriel Ogbechie, says Nigeria is over due for full deregulation.
Speaking recently on the sidelines of the firm’s 25th anniversary, he said Nigeria cannot continue to spend over N3 trillion as subsidy yearly on one product, while other sectors suffer.
“Nigeria is ripe for deregulation, hence the urgent need to channel the over N3 trillion that is currently being spent to subsidise petroleum products in the country to other critical areas of the economy needing attention”, he said.
Ogbechie expressed fears over the parlous financial state of the economy in using huge resources to subsidise petroleum products and called on the government to deregulate the downstream sector to curb wastage and loss.
“The over N3 trillion being spent to subsidise petroleum products in the country is sheer waste of scarce finance. This can be used to benefit other sectors of the economy that are bleeding from lack of money,” he noted.
Reiterating his company’s commitment to the development of the petroleum downstream value chain, which he noted as critical to Nigeria’s economic growth, Ogbechie said in line with the nation’s energy transition process, Rainoil is making great effort in boosting the economic development with its sterling efforts in ensuring in-country utilisation and deepening of gas penetration.
He added that the company has made significant impact in cleaner energy production and resource efficiency in the manufacturing sector.
He noted that it would key into the Federal Government’s autogas plan, aimed at reducing Nigeria’s dependence on petrol to diversify its interest by adapting to change and innovation to deepen investment opportunities in storage, retailing and distribution.
According to him, the firm, which started operations in May 1997, has grown to become a dominant player in the industry, providing employmen for about 2,000 Nigerians, and, with over 130 stations, the company is in 26 states.
“We have also recently deepened Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) penetration with the launch of our ultra-modern 8,000MT LPG storage facility in Ijegun, Lagos,” Ogbechie said.
He added that the firm has continued its upward trajectory through strategic planning, innovation and creating a conducive working environment for its employees, including giving back to the society and its host communities through its various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
This, he said, included construction of a block of classrooms at Oghareki Grammar School, Oghara, in Delta, distribution of educational materials to students, health care interventions and sports development.
Ex-Lawmaker Volunteers For Petroleum Sector Deregulation
An ex-lawmaker, Sen. Ben Murray Bruce, has announced that he is willing to serve as a volunteer in deregulating the country’s petroleum sector.
This follows the ex-lawmaker’s faulting of Nigeria losing over N5trilion annually as a result of fuel subsidy.
Bruce, who represented Bayelsa East Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, on his verified Twitter handle, decried what he described as ignorance and ineptitude of government agencies responsible for fuel subsidy.
“We cannot keep losing five trillion naira annually. I am able and willing, and I volunteer myself to lead the team to deregulate our petroleum sector.
“I will execute this flawlessly such that no Nigerian will be on the street protesting.
“The ineptitude and ignorance of the government agencies responsible for this are mind-boggling,” Bruce tweeted.
Stakeholders Urge FG To Shift From Fossil Fuel
Stakeholders in the extractive industry have said that as a fossil fuel dependent country, Nigeria must develop its own strategy to engage in shifting global focus away from oil.
This was the conversation at a recent one day capacity building workshop for media and Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development, through its Natural Resource and Extractive Programme, in partnership with Natural Resource Governance Institute.
The hybrid workshop, themed, “Oil Dependency in Nigeria: Imagining a Future Beyond Oil”, had over 50 participants, including journalists from the extractive sector, CSOs, and social media influencers in attendance.
The workshop, according to the organisers, was geared towards improving the understanding of oil dependency and the nexus with energy transition to better communicate the impact on Nigeria and the Nigerian economy.
Senior Officer, NRGI, Ms. Tengi George-Ikoli, explained that Nigeria was at a critical point in its development, hence as a fossil fuel-dependent country, it is important that Nigeria develops its own strategy to engage the shifting global focus away from oil.
“Nigeria must develop its own medium to long term strategy to mitigate the likely export and government revenue losses from a shrinking market base as these countries look to reducing oil reliance beyond 2030.
“Nigeria must make strategic decisions in the way it spends its limited revenues, take economic diversification more seriously, leveraging regional and global opportunities beyond oil, and including new frontier possibilities available in the green economy”, she said.
Also, Deputy Director, Development Practice, CJID, Mr. Akintunde Babatunde, said as energy transition persists globally, Nigeria as a monolithic fossil fuel dependent economy has to prepare for what the shift to cleaner energy sources means for its economy.
“Data is pointing us to the fact that Nigeria will likely lose a majority of its foreign exchange earnings and revenues for both the federal and subnational government.
“In fact, it is already happening, because Nigeria is at a critical point in its development process, it is important for professionals to discuss the way forward on how the decisions we make as a country are more important now than ever”, he said.
Earlier, the Acting Executive Director at CJID, Tobi Oluwatola, harped on the need for capacity building for the media and CSOs, noting that they are in the best position to enlighten the public from an informed perspective.
“It is time for Civil Society Organisations, journalists, and policy experts to have this discussion, most especially as Nigeria plans to achieve net zero by 2060. There is a need for CSOs to be empowered with the right skills to be able to do the right advocacy and accountability work in Nigeria”, he stated.
Nigeria To Construct Gas Pipeline To Europe Through Morocco
Nigeria has given the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC) the greenlight to implement a deal on construction of a gas pipeline to Europe through Morocco.
This follows reports of surging demand for African energy supplies from the EU that is seeking to wean itself of dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“This gas pipeline is to take gas to 15 West African countries and to Europe and through Morocco to Spain and others,” said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva.
“It is only after the engineering design of the pipeline has been made that we will know exactly (what) the cost of the pipeline will be. When that time comes, we will be talking about funding,” he added.
Nigeria is a member of the Opec group of major oil producers and has huge gas reserves – the largest proven reserves in Africa and the seventh largest globally.
On May 30, Tanzania transported 60,000 tonnes of coal to the Netherlands.
Last month, Botswana’s President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, said European nations had “flooded” his country with requests to supply coal.
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