The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency on Sunday said the Petroleum Industry Act had signaled the full deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
It was, however, quick to state that the negotiations between the Federal Government and labour would minimise the effect of subsidy removal upon full deregulation of the sector.
The Executive Secretary, PPPRA, Abdulkadir Saidu, who said this in a statement issued in Abuja, stated that petrol price would be adjusted in a way that it would not cause hardship on consumers.
He said, “There is no gainsaying that the PIA signals the implementation of full deregulation of the downstream sector.
“However, it remains worthy of note that the PIA does not automatically translate to any immediate increase in the price of PMS.
“The current price will remain until negotiations with organised labour, which will develop a feasible framework that minimises the impact of a market-based pricing policy on the masses, is concluded.”
Saidu said the PIA had provided legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities and related matters.
He said the Act marked the beginning of a new era in the growth and development of the entire oil and gas industry.
“Delivering on the promise to create an environment with a transparent, clear and robust legal and regulatory regime is sure to open up new vistas in the oil and gas industry, and the Nigerian economy,” Saidu stated.
He pointed out that the implementation of the PIA would provide a more consistent standard of operations and ensure less cumbersome regulatory control of the industry, among other gains.
He said, “The PPPRA especially commends the Federal Government for taking the bold step at resolving longstanding hitches such as the issue of overlapping functions in the regulation of the sector.”
Saidu added that the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, as well as the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, clearly delineated the roles of industry operators and regulators.