Senator Jarigbe Represents Senate President At PENGASSAN Energy and Labour Summit, in Abuja


Nigeria’s Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio has stated that “When the Nigerian government decided to introduce petroleum subsidy, the intension was based on the angelic nature of mankind, not the beastly nature of brutish insensitivity. It was believed that subsidy would push down the price of fuel, make fuel accessible in all outlets, and be a boom and blessing to our teeming populace.

Between 1965 and 1989, government added more impetus to this intention by the construction of four refineries which could output 444,000 barrels of oil per day for local consumption. For effective management of these refineries, government promulgated the Petroleum Products (Uniform Prices) Order of 1973; The Petroleum Equalization Fund (Bridging Management Board) decree of 1975; and the Petroleum Amendment Orders of 1996 and 1998.

But because men are not angels, here is what came out of these. We had inadequate supply and dubious distribution of petroleum products, corruption, monopolistic practices, misappropriation, bunkering, trafficking of refined products to other countries, slow capacity utilization of the refineries, vandalization of pipelines, lack of competition, hoarding of products, etc. Though the intention was good, it fail flat because it violated the ancient Roman wisdom, “Quis custodiet Ipsos custodes?” (Who shall watch the watchers?) With no one watching and monitoring the “watchers” this became a reverse Robin Hood situation which means robbing the poor to pay the rich.

The President who was represented by Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, DSSRS, Senator representing Cross River North Senatorial District also noted that, “His Excellency President Bola Tinubu was, therefore, right to end the subsidy and surgically remove the arteries of corruption which had been draining our economy.

Speaking at the summit which had the theme titled “Petroleum Downstream Regulation and Gas Utilization for a Sustainable Energy Future in Nigeria“, Akpabio noted that, “Deregulation is intended to improve efficient and effective utilization of scarce resources, end product scarcity, improve operations in the sector, stop waste, expand opportunities for growth in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the industry”.

“If the N7.3 trillion spent on fuel subsidy since 2016 was put in capital projects, our country would have been better for it. This is what deregulation seeks to do – free funds for education, capital projects, agriculture, rural development, sports development, maritime activities etc. 

The four refineries are not working at the moment, but with deregulation the fortunes of these may change. The sector would become more efficient” Akpabio added.

The event which held at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton, also had the presence of the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Mele Kyari, President of Pengassan, Comrade Festus Osifo, Hon. Minister for Labour and Employment, H. E Simon Bakor Lalong, members of the National Assembly and other well meaning Nigerians.