The Group Managing Director, Rainoil Limited, Dr. Gabriel Ogbechie, has said the country would save over N12 trillion from deregulation. This, he said, could be channeled to other areas of development for the country if the downstream sector is fully deregulated.
He stated this while outlining the benefits of deregulation at the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria (NAEC) Strategic International Conference in Lagos with the topic: “Energy Transition, PIA, Petroleum Pricing and the Way Forward for the Downstream Sector.”
He said the global average price for petrol was N516 per litre, which was way higher than the N175 per litre it is being sold in Nigeria and called on the government to not only to deregulate, but also initiate a petrol tax to fund maintenance and construction of critical infrastructure across the country.
Speaking on the conversation around fuel subsidy removal, he said Nigerians were not adverse to subsidy removal, but noted that petrol consumers only wanted some level of reassurance and the cushioning effects by government.
He also noted that the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) remained the silver bullet in growing the downstream sector, however, decried the huge sum expended on fuel subsidy so far.
Speaking on the panelists’ sessions, Ogbechie noted that the issue of deregulation had come to stay, as a policy direction for the downstream petroleum sector given the enormous benefits that comes with a deregulated petroleum environment.
He said Rainoil Limited has over 40 LPG trucks in its business bank, with retail outlets scattered across the country.
As a prominent player in the oil and gas industry, Ogbechie said the company’s operations cut across the downstream value chain including petroleum product storage, haulage/distribution and retail sales. The company’s primary products he disclosed included petrol, diesel, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
He said Rainoil has celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. According to him, the company which started from scratch today had been built to be one of the very prominent and very dominant players in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry.
He said: “Today, Rainoil Limited holds a 50m litres capacity petrol depot. We own another 50m litres capacity petroleum depot in Calabar, Cross River State. We own yet another 50m litres capacity depot in Lagos State. Again, we own an 8000MT liquefied petroleum gas facility also in Lagos State.
“We have little more than 100 petrol stations spread across the country. We are also heavily into logistics. We have more than 150 tank trucks that distribute petroleum products across the country,” he said, adding the company had provided direct employment to less than 1,200 Nigerians.’’