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Deregulation: PPPRA, PEF Will Cease To Exist ― Petroleum Minister

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Minister of State, Petroleum Timipre Sylva

Certain existing agencies in the oil industry would no longer exist once the downstream sector is fully deregulated.

Former Bayelsa state governor and Minister of State, Petroleum Timipre Sylva made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.

Honourable Sylva who specifically mentioned the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, ( PPPRA)  and the Petroleum Equalisation Board,  (PEF) noted that it would be a contradiction for the agencies to continue to exist in their present form in a fully deregulated downstream sector.

Tribune Online checks revealed that PEF was established to administer uniform prices of Petroleum products throughout the country by reimbursing a marketer’s transportation differentials for petroleum products movement from depots to their sales outlets.

The PPPRA was equally established in 2003 to, among other responsibilities, monitor and regulate the supply and distribution, and determine the prices of petroleum products in the country.

The Minister of Petroleum maintained that the two regulatory agencies would be subsumed under a new agency with different nomenclature.

He said:” PEF will no longer exist after the Petroleum Industry Bill even PPPRA will no longer exist. They will be subsumed under what is going to be a new authority. But, I do not want to go into the PIB now. They will reincarnate in a different form but not exactly in this form but of course, I do not want to preempt the passage of the PIB. It is for the National Assembly. So, there is going to be a role for them. They are not going to be obliterated. But they will be subsumed.”

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Sylva assured Nigerians that plans were in the offing to revive the existing refineries to produce at their respective installed refining capacities.  He further expressed confidence that the deregulation of fuel prices at retail outlets would encourage investors to the industry as he insisted that the old order of price-fixing was a big disincentive to investment in local refineries.

“Talking about refineries, what we have done is to sequence the rehabilitation of the refineries. We are going to start first with Port Harcourt refinery. In Port Harcourt, we have two refineries; the old refinery and new refinery. The old refinery of 60,000 barrels and the new refinery which is a total capacity of 250,000 refining capacity. Now, there is going to be the third refinery with Port Harcourt refinery which is going to be private refinery.

“Discussion is ongoing in the rehabilitation of Warri and Kaduna as well. And I want to assure you that with deregulation, it would not be difficult for us to fix these refineries because this will be commercially viable ventures now and properly managed. Government is not going to continuously manage them.

“We want to put the operate and manage contract so that the professionals’ managers of refineries will take over the management of these refineries. Before now, because of subsidy, no professional will take over the management of a refinery when he is going to be producing at a loss. But now, every professional manager of the refinery is interested in managing these refineries.

“There is a lot of interest in managing these refineries because of this policy direction. We believe that the 3 or four refineries in Nigeria will soon be rehabilitated and back to production because of deregulation.”

(NIGERIAN TRIBUNE)

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