Reforms had saved government over N1 trillion in subsidy payments in the last one year.
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, on Sunday in Abuja pledged to tighten its reforms in the downstream sector.
The agency’s Executive Secretary, Reginald Stanley, said this was to ensure efficiency in the importation and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
Mr. Stanley, who emphasized the importance of an efficient downstream sector, said the agency had stepped up its reforms in the sector. He said this was done with the weeding out of unscrupulous marketers in the importation of petroleum products into the country.
“We are committed to repositioning the downstream sector in line with our mandate and Federal Government’s transformation agenda,” the executive secretary said.
“When we came in November 2011, there were lots of marketers who had little or nothing to do in the system. So, we had to streamline their activities. We identified that the number of marketers operating in the sector was unhealthy. We met 128 marketers. But today, as part of the clean-up exercise, we have successfully reduced that number to 38 companies, which is good for the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF).”
He said the PPPRA had also put in place stringent measures to streamline the activities of marketers.
“Before marketers can import and claim any subsidies, they have to satisfy some conditions. These include owning a storage facility and producing all the import documents and bill of loading,” Mr. Stanley said.
The PPPRA official noted that the reforms had saved government over N1 trillion in subsidy payments in the last one year. He said the agency would continue with the reforms to ensure that Nigerians were not ripped off by dubious marketers.
“As a result of the reforms, the subsidy payment on the part of government has been drastically reduced from about N2.1 trillion in 2011 to just over N1 trillion in 2012. Also, in terms of volume, we’ve really cut down on volume from 60.25 million litres per day in 2011 to just under 40 million litres per day as of now,’’ Mr. Stanley said.
He also attributed the disappearance of fuel queues in most parts of the country to the on-going reforms and the synergy with other stakeholders in the sector.
The PPPRA executive secretary said the deregulation of the sector, if properly implemented, would fast-track economic growth and the social well-being of Nigerians.