The proposed deregulation of the petroleum sector would ensure product availability and price stability if government is sincere and allow genuine investors to come in, Secretary General of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria, Mr. Peter Ikpamejo has said.
Mr. Ikapemjo, who spoke during the yearly fellow chartered economists’ dinner in Abuja threw his weight behind the full deregulation of the sector.
His words, “We are of the view and the support the move that there is need for the full deregulation of the petroleum industry. When you look at the deregulation: one, it is going to provide us with efficiency and adequacy in the availability of the product of the product. Secondly, deregulation will bring employment because if this sector is deregulated and the investors are allowed, they will bring in money to import and possibly build mini or micro refineries, there will be more jobs in the society and the products will be available at any point in time.
“In the short run, the price of the product might likely go up but in a long run, as more investors are going in, the prices will then come down. This is because, after the deregulation, there will be free entering into the sector. What we will then see will be some better than what is happening in the communication sector today. If you remember clearly, during the early days of Econet and MTN, getting a line cost over 20,000. But today, a line now is sold for one hundred naira. When they came in, we were asking them for pay as you go, that is the per second billing, but they said it wasn’t possible.”
He continued, “But Mike Adenuga of the Globacom came and made it. So this same thing will apply in the down stream sector if it is properly deregulated, that is if government will be true to us. This is because they might want to give the license to themselves. If the licenses to import petroleum products, the licenses to build mini or macro refineries are given transparently, then I think everybody will enjoy in a long run.”