From Uche Usim, Abuja

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Mr Timipre Sylva has dismissed insinuations that the Federal Government has approved a new pump price for petrol, as the commodity currently sells for between N174 and N230/litre in Abuja, depending on the location.

Speaking on Monday at a stakeholders’ forum on midstream and downstream petroleum regulations organised by the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in Abuja, the minister said petrol was still being subsidised by the federal government, stressing that any increment in pump price was done by the marketers.

“I can tell you authoritatively that we’re not deregulating. The government is still subsidising. If there are increases in price, it’s not from the government. It’s from the marketers,” he stated.

On monitoring efforts to ensure that marketers stick to the old marketing template of N165/litre, Sylva said: “I don’t know about monitoring exercise but the NMDPRA is doing their job”.

On the stakeholder engagement, the Minister described it as key to developing the oil and gas potential by harnessing heterogeneous views and data from far and wide to make the PIA implementation a success.

“This engagement is for the operators and regulators to understand one another and be on the same page,” he added.

In his opening remarks at the event, the Executive Secretary of the NMDPRA, Farouk Ahmed, said that the engagement remains an important milestone and fulfils a key mandate of the PIA. “Stakeholders will be part of our efforts going forward. Section 216 mandates the Authority to consult with stakeholders and we’ve been doing this. The Authority will regulate operational issues.

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“We have received feedback on 10 regulations that will be looked into at this event. Two have already been released and it’s on our website,” he stated.

“So, we now have 12 regulations that will be released after this engagement. Stakeholders’ contributions are integral to the operationalisation of the PIA. Our priority is to ensure it remains a catalyst to develop the oil and gas value chain. It ensures equity and fairness and we must ensure full participation.

“The 10 regulations to be considered are; Petroleum (Transportation and Shipment) Regulations; Assignment and Transfer of Licence and Permit Regulations; Midstream and Downstream Petroleum (Operations) Regulations; Petroleum Pipeline Regulations and Gas Pricing Domestic Demand and Delivery Regulations.

“Others are Natural Gas Pipeline Tariff Regulations; Midstream and Downstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations; Environmental Regulations for Midstream and Downstream Operations; Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund Regulations; Environmental Remediation Funds Regulations.

“The Authority has commenced the issuance of the next phase of regulations and will today publish the following regulations for stakeholder consultation.

“Our priority will be to ensure these regulations are primary enablers of the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative and will help catalyse investment and enhance the attractiveness of the domestic gas value chain.

“We are also conscious of the fact that effective Regulations must, among many outcomes, ensure fairness, equity, transparency, and certainty for all players in the regulatory space,” he explained.

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Source: news