The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has offered to nominate representatives on the strategic planning committee of the Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream to clean the mess in the midstream and downstream sectors created over the years.
Farouk Ahmed, Chief Executive, NMDPRA, made this commitment when a team of the Advisory Board of OTL paid him a courtesy meeting on Thursday in Abuja.
According to him, the Authority is committed to working together with all the major players in the midstream and downstream sectors of the petroleum industry to sanitise and clean the mess in the industry created over the years.
He said, “To achieve this, we need a capable, willing, and bold regulator to make decisions, while the industry players must be humble enough to accept the decisions of the Authority to enhance the progress of the industry.
“This is just a win-win situation for us all,” the ACE noted.
Speaking about strategic partnership with OTL, Ahmed said, “We align with your ideas on why we need to collaborate and have assured our willingness and interest to work with OTL.
“We need to work together and sanitise the industry; NMDPRA is committed to supporting the industry and we will look into more representation.
He said, “We will participate because we want to be part of those driving it so that we can get a better seat. Otherwise, we will be left behind.
“By that, we are seen, our work is seen and felt, our suggestions, input, and ideas can also be incorporated from the beginning, so we welcome that,” the ACE said.
Ahmed assured that the authority would work with the OTL team in its future events, adding that there would be an internal commitment by the workers of NMDPRA to drive the sector.
Mr Tunji Oyebanji, Chairman, OTL Advisory Board, commended the Authority for its support in the previous edition of the event, pledging the commitment of OTL to take the industry to the next level.
Oyebanji, represented by Dr Emeka Akabogu, OTL Board’s Executive Vice Chairman, requested increased participation of the NMDPRA in the activities of the OTL.
“We will keep working to ensure that we facilitate an environment that corresponds to best practices for sustainable growth and development of the Nigerian Downstream petroleum industry.
“We are, therefore, working towards a truly ‘Big-tent’ event for 2023, which incorporates all major sub-sector groups, most of which are regulated by the Authority.
“We look forward to the full participation of the Authority yet again in 2023 and use this opportunity to request that it designates an official to join the Planning Committee.
“This will ensure that the Authority’s perspectives and focus for the event are more realistically incorporated into the event schedule and thematic focus,” he said.
Oyebanji said the group in 2022 focused on the theme, Regulating Downstream Energy Transition in Dynamic Times, to highlight the importance of regulation and compliance in achieving downstream operational efficiency.
He said: “We witnessed six sessions on various issues including fuels, gas, refining, and lubricants.
“Over the course of three days, more than 1200 persons across industry sectors interacted, gaining knowledge, doing business, closing deals, and expanding the frontiers of the sector, among other things.”
Oyebanji said it was evident that operators were concerned about getting certainty in policy direction and would be ready to unlock value once common interests were addressed.
“That is why 2023 is a crucial year for the industry in Nigeria,” the OTL Africa Board Chairman noted.