An Ibadan Chief, Oloye Adegboyega Adegoke has said the major way of solving problem revolving round petroleum sector is for the Federal government to fully deregulate the sector by removing its hand from regulating the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as Petrol as well as privatize all the refineries that are currently moribund.
Adegoke who is an expert in the oil and gas sector noted that by doing this, it would create an avenue for competition among the major distributors.
Adegoke who is the Executive Director Finance and Chief Financial Officer of OES Energy Services maintained that if the sector is fully deregulated and refineries are privatized, the money that is always earmark for refineries maintenance without producing anything would be diverted into the provision of other infrastructure.
He stated these while addressing journalists shortly after he was honoured as the distinguished personality of the year by the Oyo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Thursday in Ibadan, the state capital.
He maintained that late former President Umar Musa Yaradua made a mistake by reversing the privatization of refineries done by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Adegoke, who is the Ajia Balogun of Ibadan land, noted that Obasanjo did the right thing at the point of leaving, when he privatized the refineries.
He insisted that late YarAdua who took over from Obasanjo in 2007 made a great mistake by reversing the privatization.
According to him, “the reversal of the privatization of the refineries drawed Nigeria back for many years. Government should remove its hand completely the way they did with diesel. Full deregulation means anyone can import from Russia, Israel, USA or UK”.
“Government should remove its hand from the oil industry the way it was done in telecommunications sector. So, there will be competition similar to what happened in the telecommunications industry.
“Before GSM was licenced, NITEL was having a full day. I was begging for a line. Then, the entire lines we had in Nigeria was 400,000; today we have millions.
“When government spends N10billion on refineries, that money can be used for another thing. They are paying salary without doing anything. The refineries that never produced for many years”.
Speaking on the Award, Adegoke said, “I feel good. I have always been part of Oyo NUJ. I take is as a catalyst. Something to energise me and to do more. This award makes me feel great and it means NUJ acknowledged my little contributions”.