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PIGB: Let downstream, upstream operations get separate regulators—OPS

Just as President Muhammdu Buhari is yet to accent to the passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), the Organised Private Sector (OPS), has called on the National Assembly (NASS), to instead of crowding the regulation of both up and downstream operations of the oil industry in one regulator, splitting the roles will better drive growth and development.

Nigerian OPS is made up of the Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and among others.

In a joint press conference by the Director General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir and Director General, NACCIMA, Emmanuel Cobham at NECA house in Lagos, the OPS disagreed with the NASS on the creation of a behemoth regulator for a sector that is not necessarily homogenous in its activities and deliverables.

Leading the argument, NACCIMA boss noted that history and economic reasoning is on the side of two regulator model for the petroleum sector because in the recent past, the single regulator model has been tried and found to be inefficient and unsuccessful.

According to him, “We strongly canvass for the creation of two regulatory bodies each focusing on the downstream and upstream sectors of the Industry and on the entire gamut of technical and commercial issues in each of the sub-sectors”.

“A single regulator would create complexities and challenges for operators in the petroleum value chain because the structure, operation and nature of the downstream are totally different from that of the upstream,”

He was of the opinion that “It is dangerous to concentrate too much power in one body in a sector where there are different players, adding that creating an omnibus commission to regulate the downstream and upstream with the same checklist and yardstick will not be industry-friendly”.

Efforts to get the response of the lawmakers on the need idea failed at press time.