By David Agba
President/CE, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has called on Nigeria to reclaim permanently, its rightful place in the preeminent leadership position in the supply and demand of petroleum products in Africa.
The foremost business mogul in Africa, said it is time for the country to effect complete deregulation of the downstream petroleum industry by removing totally, and in all its manifestations, the outdated subsidy on gasoline products.
He said decades of unimpressive track record of subsidy have shown only national decay and moral decadence as “dividends”.
Dangote gave the smart solutions to oil and gas challenges in Africa and indeed, Nigeria, in his presentation tagged, ‘Petroleum Product Supply and Demand in Africa Translating Crude Abundance to Product Abundance-Reclaiming the leadership role in Nigeria’, at the on-going Nigeria International Petroleum Summit in Abuja.
He was represented by his Technical Consultant, Engr. Babajide Shoyode.
Though Dangote Group is a new entrant in the huge industry, Aliko said his contribution to Oil and Gas will soon manifest impactfully on the industry, and in the lives of Nigerians with the project’s completion next year.
He emphasised the need to sanitise the sector by dealing squarely with the problems, for robust growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
He said that with restored competitive and effective NNPC refineries, Nigeria could have more than 1m barrels per day of World Class petroleum refining assets on the strategic Gulf of Guinea, turning Nigeria into a Global hub for petroleum products supply.
He adviced that willing and able private entrepreneurs be freely allowed to explore opportunities in the Modular refineries, while canvassing for the upgrading and empowerment of regulatory agencies in a deregulated, unsubsidised market regime for the interest of Nigerians.
Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe Kachiku had identified pricing mechanism as one of the problems affecting development of the sector.
OPEC Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, who led World Oil delegates commended President Buhari for the reforms in the Oil and Gas, saying Nigeria’s role is respected by OPEC, in the realm of consensus building.