The Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN), has commended the federal government for its decision to allow market forces determine the retail price of petrol.
In a statement on Sunday, Winifred Akpani, DAPPMAN chairman, urged the federal government to take a step further by fully deregulating the downstream sector to allow the sector enhance economic growth.
The government, in March, introduced a price modulation policy where international product prices and associated landing costs in Nigeria are used as input in the determination of final pricing to the local market by the government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and disclosed periodically.
Commending the government for consistently seeking ways to reposition the sector for effectiveness and profitability, Akpani said DAPPMAN remained in full support of the implementation of a fully deregulated regime which will make the downstream sector’s operations more seamless, enhance transparency, competitiveness and sustainable growth.
“DAPPMAN is mindful of the commitment of the government and the functional organs managing the sector to ensuring value to every Nigerian and we salute them for this as we are indeed up against uncertain times,” she said.
“However, we believe that full deregulation of the sector remains the most viable option for Nigeria to effectively navigate this period and ultimately safeguard the future of our economy and wellbeing of 200 million Nigerians.”
Akpani explained that deregulation will open up the sector for fresh investments and diversification which will translate in stable demand and supply regimes that will ensure that consumers have uninterrupted access to affordable quality products without the huge financial burden currently borne by the government.
“DAPPMAN is aware of the considerations that have dogged the issue of deregulation over the years and we believe they are very important,” she said.
“However, we believe these considerations will be duly addressed with a deregulation regime that guarantees long-term benefits and empowers the government to commit savings made in the process to infrastructure development, job creation, agricultural revolution, education and health.
“This will spur the growth of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) as well as large corporates, that would increase Nigeria’s human capacity index, competitiveness and ultimately drive inflow of foreign investments.”
Speaking on the association’s contribution to the fight against COVID-19, Akpani, who is the managing director of Northwest Petroleum and Gas Company Limited, said DAPPMAN contributed towards the upgrade of medical facilities, distributed tens of thousands of masks and sanitizers; and made donations of relief items.