Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), has frowned at Nigerians, especially the critics of the current leadership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), warning them not to play politics with the ongoing reform in the oil and gas sector.
APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in an interviewing newsmen, appealed that the current administration’s efforts to sanitise and reform the oil sector should be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians.
Nabena noted that with the courageous move by the current administration, a new price regime for petrol was introduced in the country which has led to the technical liberalization of petrol price.
He further claimed that the move is set to reposition the country’s downstream oil sector and particularly ensure that NNPC becomes a fully run commercial entity.
“The administration’s efforts to sanitise and reform the oil sector should be supported by all well-meaning Nigerians. It is important that we don’t succumb to the temptation to play politics with the reforms in view of the strides that have been achieved so far.
“In a general appraisal of the oil sector reforms undertaken by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, an often downplayed achievement is the fact that in a long time Nigerians no longer have to waste valuable man hours queuing for fuel on account of scarcities.
“The positive effects of the oil sector reforms have been instant and visible. Fuel shortages and resultant queues which were a recurrent issue in the sector due to our limited refining base are now in the past.
“As the NNPC works to wholly meet the national petrol requirement due to the inability of private sector players to meet their supply quota, the increased private participation in our energy sector, is set to increase our local refining base with the near launch of privately-owned and high-capacity refineries. The resultant effect will be an end to the costly importation of refined petroleum products,” he said.
Reacting to the $3.5 billion Subsidy fund probe by the Senate, Nabena said: “The achievements of the oil sector reforms brings to fore erroneous insinuations of a $3.5 billion Subsidy fund allegedly in the NNPC’s custody which the Senate has reportedly resolved to probe.
“In NNPC’s bid to stem petroleum product supply hiccups, the corporation initiated a revolving National Fuel Support Fund of $1.05 billion, since the corporation is literally the sole importer and supplier of products in the country.
“The Fund has been domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ever since. NNPC has not independently spent a dime of the fund which is to ensure stability in the petroleum products supply in the country.
“The Fund has been jointly managed by the NNPC, CBN, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OGF), the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF),” he noted.