The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), has raised fresh concerns over the Petroleum Industry Bill.
The group while commending the bill and on Wednesday said the restriction of license to import refined petroleum products to a small number of local refiners provided for in the bill would lead to inefficiency and corruption.
A statement by the association’s National President, Yusuf Othman asked the National Assembly to address prevailing concerns before passage.
Noting that the haulage sector has always suffered in terms of scarcity of products and limited access to loading locations, Othman said: “We are seriously taken aback by the provision in the bill restricting importation license to only local refiners.”
According to him, all hands should be put on deck to ensure that the PIB does not monopolise the importation of PMS as currently provided in the bill.
Othman further said since the PIB is expected to ensure competition in the downstream oil and gas industry, provision to the contrary would make waste of all our collective efforts in that regard.
He explained that the composition of the board members of the Industry regulator expected to be created by the new bill will be transparent and fair if the association is considered on the board.
“There is no denying the fact that Transporters play very pivotal roles in the effective and efficient distribution of petroleum products across the country and their experience and expertise can never be overemphasised. It is in the light of this that we call for our Inclusion in the boards of the industry regulator(s) most especially in the downstream sector of the industry as it will further be strengthened in ensuring effective and efficient distribution of petroleum products across the nation.”
Othman added that it remained critical for the PIB to provide adequate encouragement and incentives to IOCs and indigenous oil producers to invest in the refining sector of the oil and gas industry.
“We strongly believe that such incentives will help in bringing in the much-needed investments in domestic refining.
“As the two chambers of the National Assembly meet to harmonise their positions, we earnestly plead that these issues be taken on board as they would further enhance the possibility of harnessing the full benefits and potentials of the bill to enable it meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians,” Othman noted.
He pledged the group’s support for the bill, stressing the need to accord the document accelerated assent by the president.
Meanwhile, Governors from the 36 states of the federation will Thursday debate the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), financial autonomy for state Judiciary and Legislature among other issues.
The issues discussed will form part of the forum’s 32nd teleconference meeting scheduled for. July 14.
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