Critical industry operators especially in the mid and downstream petroleum industry and government agencies have carried out a post mortem analysis of the industry operations and called for immediate action on specific areas to spur investment.
The stakeholders gathered at the Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Industry, in collaboration with African Refiners and Distributors Association, ARDA during a virtual workshop aimed at addressing key challenges and outlining strategies to ensure a sustainable future for the petroleum downstream sector.
The workshop focused on risk management and self regulation, effective change management, and communication and stakeholder engagement.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ardova Plc and chairman of Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Olumide Adeosun, during the conference spoke on the need for proactive planning and implementation of the “adoption of gas” initiatives as a transition fuel towards achieving Net Zero was highlighted.
Adeosun, also stated the need for safeguarding consumer interest in a deregulated environment was also underscored.
Ahmed, sought for the immediate need to consistently limit and mitigate against supply gaps and price volatility, related to exposure to international markets, and winning public support.
Other stakeholders including Sheila Addo, Director, Policy Coordination, NPA Ghana and Gary Still, Managing Director CITAC, provided insight into the importance of promoting best practices in Health, Security, Safety, Environment, and Quality (HSSEQ), embracing automation and technology, managing customer expectations. These strategies, they argued are essential for maintaining the industry’s competitiveness and resilience.
The Executive Secretary, of African Refiners and Distributors Association ARDA, Anibor Kragha, and Huub Stokman, MD NRL, emphasized that the gains from removal of fuel subsidies can only be achieved through effective change management, identifying potential pitfalls and mitigation strategies.
This includes implementing appropriate palliatives for public transportation and the transportation of agricultural produce as we journey towards full deregulation, improving access to foreign exchange and trade finance, ensuring strategic stock, and providing access to crude oil for refineries.
Additionally, participants at the workshop discussed open access and optimizing the country’s logistics infrastructure, including pipelines, pumping stations, and storage depots. The workshop suggested that in preparation for a fully deregulated market, the Authority needs to continuously determine local refining capacity, project and request crude oil requirements from the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
To address the unmet national demand, it was advised that the Authority establish transparent, inclusive and competitive guidelines for importation. These guidelines, which should provide the pathway for obtaining foreign exchange, needs to be made public, and implemented in good time prior to the commencement of price deregulation.
The workshop provided data-driven insights into the sector’s growth potential, as stakeholders emphasized the need for continuous industry engagement, collaboration, and public sensitization to aid public buy-in on new policies by the government.
The importance of connecting to regional markets, positioning Nigeria as the regional refining hub, and fostering relationships with international service providers, including rating agencies, finance and governance institutions, and aligning with the goals of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP), was reiterated by speakers at the workshop.
“Ultimately, this collaborative workshop provided a platform for stakeholders to share knowledge and develop strategies to ensure the Nigerian Petroleum Downstream Industry remains a strong, competitive force while transitioning to a more sustainable future.
“By focusing on risk management, effective change management, and stakeholder engagement, the industry can adapt and make significant contributions towards new jobs, economic growth and prosperity of Nigeria.” added Adeosun.