First Tenure Review: LCCI scores Buhari low on oil sector reforms
.Says oil sector reforms painfully slow
.NNPC’s monopoly crowding out private sector participation
By Udeme Clement
“The pace of reforms in oil and gas sector of the economy remained painfully slow over the past four years”.
These were the words of the Director General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mr. Muda Yusuf, while reviewing performance of the economy under President Muhammadu Buhari, in the last four years.
According to him, “The Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, was stalled, impeding progress of the sector”.
He pointed out, “In the upstream segment, contracting processes under the joint venture partnership took between 12 – 36 months.
“This was a major problem for investors in the sector. That is one reason no new investors are coming into the sector.”
The LCCI DG explained, “The downstream was equally plagued with excessive regulation, which made it difficult to unlock the huge potentials of oil and gas sector.
“It is desirable to fully liberalise the sector, so that investors can inject needed private capital.
“The price cap on petroleum products and dominance of government owned oil company, NNPC, practically crowded out private sector in the industry”.
He went on, “The economy is currently faced with a monopoly situation, as far as the downstream petroleum sector is concerned”.
He advised, “There are huge potentials for investment, jobs, capital and revenue to be unlocked in the sector through appropriate reforms. “