THE Federal Government has been advised to subsidise production of petroleum products instead of consumption.
The advice was part of the resolution at the end of a two-day summit on National Refining Capacity, with the theme: “Towards a Functional Refining Regime in the Nigerian Petroleum Industry”, organised by the
House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the weekend.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of the summit, the step would guarantee positive end for the government’s deregulation policy in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
The summit also recommended a quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in order to provide incentives that would attract investors to do business in the sector.
The communiqué stated: “There is an urgent need to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry. There is need for government to focus on subsidising production as against consumption.
“There is the consensus that the deregulation of the downstream sector is imperative for improving refining capacity. Labour movement and other stakeholders are not averse to deregulation, but the concern is when and how”.
The summit also put current average domestic refining output at 30 per cent of the 445,000 barrels per day installed capacity, adding that the government should build large strategic storage facilities for energy security considerations.
The summit noted that although it was acceptable to import finished petroleum products for domestic consumption, the exact proportion of what is to be imported should be made known to Nigerians.
At the event, Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, stated that the summit was organised as part of the House commitment to finding solutions to the refining capacity challenges in the country.