By Obas Esiedesa
The Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE) has again urged the Federal Government to remove the N145 per litre price cap on premium motor spirit (petrol) and allow the market to determine the price.
The association insisted that the rich and wealthy are the main beneficiaries of the subsidy on fuel rather the masses of Nigeria.
The President of NAEE, Professor Wumi Iledare spoke journalists on Saturday in Abuja, ahead of Mondaya��s opening of the 11th NAEE/IAEE Conference with the theme a�?New era in global energy landscape: Implication for emerging economya��.
Iledare however expressed optimism that the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) which was awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari would put an end to the subsidy regime.
Speaking on the conference, he said the three-day programme would feature technical paper presentations, plenary sessions and a roundtable.
According to him, a�?The first Plenary Session would address the role of oil and gas in an emerging economy; emphasizing the need for a shift from rent-seeking and rent-sharing to value-creation in the domestic economy. This session will also address the value chain optimization strategy for the Upstream, Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Industry in Nigeria. It is my considered opinion, that government cannot effectively and equitably spend a dollar to create value, the way the private sector could. I am optimistic that this session will yield effective policy suggestions on how government can focus on creating an enabling environment that encourages investments.
a�?The second Plenary Session at the 11th NAEE International Conference shall address the role of Gas and Power in an emerging economy. The discussions in this session are expected to centre on policy development of gas for value creation and not early rent extraction.
a�?The challenges derailing the development of the natural gas market shall be addressed with solutions proffered. The best ways for unlocking the Natural Gas for economic growth and development, rather than for direct revenue enhancement for the government, would also be considered. I equally hasten to opine that the multiplier effects for domestic gas consumption far outweigh that of gas export on the local economy.a�?
He continued: a�?We shall conclude this yeara��s Conference with an Annual Petroleum and Energy Policy Roundtable, discussing the petroleum industry restructuring and reforma��s implications on diversifying the Nigerian economy. Let me, at this juncture; applaud the 8th Nigerian National Assembly for breaking the jinx that has made restructuring and reforming the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria elusive for nearly two decades.
a�?The passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the Senate and House of Representatives is both significant and commendable. As it were, the effects of the passage are already apparent and the NAEE considers this to be an enormous step in the right direction.
a�?We are also highly optimistic that the passage of the three other quadrant billsa��Petroleum Industry Administration Bill (PIAB), Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill (PIFB) and Petroleum Host Community Bill (PHCB)–will be made in quick succession. It is our fervent belief that given the current dynamism, the moving train generated by the PIB Reforms and the discussions from this Roundtable, shall prove to be highly informative, especially on implementation strategiesa�?.
Iledare who was supported at the briefing by the immediate past president of NAEE and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Adeola Adenikinju, and other council members, said the conference will also feature an award dinner which would be chaired by the Executive Secretary of the PTDF, Dr Bello Gusau.