May 12, 2016 - 9:10 PM EDT
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Stakeholders Commend FG Over Total Deregulation of Petroleum Sector

Some stakeholders in the oil and gas sector on Thursday commended the Federal Government for the total deregulation of the petroleum sector.

In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, they said the move would provide enabling environment for investment in the sector.

Mr Oluwaseyi Gambo, the former Public Relations Officer of PENGASSAN, said the deregulation would allow government to focus on revitalising ailing areas of the economy.

"It is unfortunate that it is happening at this time that most Nigerians can hardly feed themselves.

"However, we also know that only very few towns like Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja were enjoying the old pump price.

"The only thing that I will give to this government is that whatever is saved from the removal of subsidy will not be looted or catered away.

"It should be invested in ailing, but important areas of the economy like road infrastructure, power and health.

"Past carelessness on the part of the citizenry is what we are all paying for now," he said.

Gambo urged the government to put in place palliative measures in order to alleviate the hardship masses would face as a result of the total deregulation of the petroleum sector.

"It is really like putting the cart before the horse this time, but one can understand the constraints of government, the pressure of government to perform and bring to the fore some electoral promises.

"So, let us swallow the bitter pill now and people will understand when things start taking a turn for the better," he said.

Chief Folorunsho Alake, an IPMAN member, told NAN that the price increase was a welcome development, adding that government had no business doing business.

Alake said that the step would allow for massive investment in the oil and gas sector.

He urged Nigerians to bear with government over the current economic hardship and said that the price of crude oil in the international market might soon appreciate.

"When President Olusegun Obasanjo removed subsidy in diesel, we were selling it between N160 and N180, but now the price has come down.

"You can get diesel between N120 and N130; that is a difference of about N50. It will soon come down if we embrace the new price.

"I will urge the people to support the new price regime," he said.

NAN reports that the Federal Government on May 11 announced a new price regime for petrol with the highest price of N145 per litre.

The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said in Abuja that the new price regime had taken effect from May 11.

The NNPC, however, advised its retail stations on the outskirts of major cities to sell at prices lower than N145 per litre.

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Source: News (May 12, 2016 - 9:10 PM EDT)

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