That the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, (PIGB) by the National Assembly remains the only albatross for the oil and gas industry is an undisputed fact.
But what remains a source of concern and apprehension is the fact that, this piece of legislation intended to guarantee total reformation of the petroleum industry, charts the more defined way of operation and rakes in more revenue to the Nigerian economy and plans to scrap some of the functional institutions and agencies with clearly defined operational and regulatory tasks that had added more value to the industry.
In a matter of weeks from now, Nigeria’s National Assembly would pass the long awaited regulatory document, to be known as the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) into law with some critical agencies like the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) among others eliminated.
But it is worthy to note for instance that, prior to the establishment of particularly, the PPPRA, the downstream sector was characterised by numerous challenges ranging from low capacity utilisation and refining activities at the nation’s refineries, rampant fire accidents as a result of mishandling of products- products adulteration and pipelines vandalism.
It is however worthy to note that most of these were given priority at the advent of the agency.
In October 2000, the Rasheed Gbadamosi Committee set up by government submitted its reports and the government meticulously studied the recommendations and made its views published in the government white paper. Some of the far-reaching recommendations of the committee accepted by the government in its white paper included displeasure by stakeholders (marketers, transporters, dealers, industrial converters and others) over shortages and the prevailing cost and price structure that caused low returns on capital investment and encouraged malpractices which, in turn, hamper an efficient supply and distribution system.
Operational facilities at the depots and the pipelines should immediately be repaired. To prevent further malpractices, all coastal supplies of AGO through nominated company vessels should be stopped, as subsidies to the target group were not justified.
Dennis Mernyi writes from Abuja