Yemisi Izuora/Joseph Bakare
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has renewed the call for the deregulation of the oil and gas downstream sector.
The Chamber says such decision is the surest way to provide an enduring solution to the recurring problem of petroleum product scarcity, corruption inherent in the subsidy regime, the collapse of refineries, lack of investment in the downstream sector, loss of jobs among others.
According to the LCCI, Options available to the incoming administration in this matter are very limited. The current regime of subsidy and governments direct involvement in the operations of oil and gas sector should be discontinued. Government needs to get out of the way, so that the sector and the economy as a whole can make progress.
President of the Chamber, Remi Bello who gave the advise while reacting to the latest round of fuel scarcity stated that this will pave the way for the restoration of normalcy in the sector and attract private capital, boost investments and create jobs.
Bello in a statement made available to Oriental News Nigeria also charged the labour unions and the citizens to give the reform of the oil and gas sector a chance adding that the current model of managing the sector has done a colossal damage to the Nigerian economy.
“It is in the overriding interest of the economy and the citizens to quickly deregulate the sector,” he maintained.
The LCCI has expressed fear that the country could experience collapse of the economy except government urgently intervenes in the sectors woes.
The chamber also notes with concern that the current unrprecedented energy crisis facing the country has virtually crippled all critical sectors of the economy.