Nigeria has said that said deregulation of its downstream sector is intended to increase transparency in downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
Speaking at the just 16th Oil Trading and Logistics Expo in Lagos, the permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources, Mr. Gabriel Aduda, said full deregulation would also create healthy competition among investors coming to Nigeria
The permanent secretary who was represented at the event by the deputy director, downstream department, federal ministry of petroleum resources, Mr. Augustine Okwudiafor, delivered a paper titled: “Regulating Downstream Energy Transition in Dynamic times.” He stated that deregulation in Nigeria would give business guaranty to investors at the stage of conceptualisation.
According to him, deregulation will significantly reduce, if not eradicate completely, the diversion and smuggling of petroleum products across Nigerian boarders.
“All hands are on deck towards full deregulation of the downstream sector, as this will ensure commercialisation and liberalisiation of the sector.
“It will also increase investment opportunities, create more jobs and promote seamless energy transition. All these measures and many more will cushion the projected impact of downstream sector deregulation on consumers and the economy at large,” the permanent secretary said.
Aduda explained that data was key in the oil and gas industry, pointing out that a reliable and accurate data would give investors a high measure of assurance on confidence.
“Hence, government is keen and determined to harmonise all downstream data across the relevant agencies and parastatals to eradicate data variations.
“Government, through the ministry of petroleum resources, its agencies and federal ministry of science and technology, is considering enhanced technologies.
“They include machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and gather downstream data for effective policy formulation and investment guidance,” he said.
According to him, oil also had a place in the energy transition space in the sense that oil could be made cleaner through the development and use of appropriate technologies.
Moving the downstream sector forward to that enviable position, he opined, required collaborative efforts from all stakeholders in the sector.
“I challenge you all to come along to move the downstream sector towards achieving the downstream we could all be proud of. As government, we are prepared to take feedback from forum such as this to guide policy formulation, especially as it affects our oil and gas Industry,” the permanent secretary concluded