Kaduna ex-gov, Umar backs deregulation, tasks critics on option to decision
Former Governor of Kaduna State and human rights activist, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (rtd) has expressed support for the deregulation of the downstream oil sector.
Umar said that the decision by the Federal Government to deregulate the sector in order to promote economic growth was long overdue.
The former governor, who is also the Chairman of the Movement for Unity and Progress (MUP) in a statement issued in Kaduna yesterday said:
“The long-awaited decision of the Federal Government to deregulate the downstream oil sector and allow all interested independent marketers to import and sell petroleum products has been taken. Although we believe in total deregulation, we fully support this needful policy.”
He continued: “Our stand does not in any way seek to deny the right of others to disagree. We, however, expect them to justify their disagreement by providing better options supported by facts and figures, failing which we remain resolute in supporting government’s decision.”
Umar added that: “In doing so, we take cognisance of the fact that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) suffers from lack of capacity to meet the astronomical rise in demand for fuel products, which is caused by failure of past administrations to expand and maintain the decaying oil infrastructure at the downstream.”
Other factors, which accounted for the failure of the NNPC to effectively manage the oil sector, according to Umar include: “The tendency by officials to mismanage public enterprises which creates system malfunctions. This could be seen in the failure to maintain the refineries, oil pipelines, storage facilities, distribution system and subsidy regimes.”
“As a result, humongous amount of public funds has been deployed in the sustenance of this wasteful system with dubious benefits to the general public. This leaves government with no alternative than to direct its meager resources to the provision of other more beneficial and essential social services like education and health. Obviously, offering subsidy on petrol cannot be the only assistance government can render citizens.”
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