Ministry of Petroleum and Energy yesterday concluded the validation of the
draft Petroleum Products (Downstream) regulations Act at the Kairaba Beach
According to officials of the ministry, the regulations act which is the first since pre-independence would provide guidelines on how the sector should operate and as well regulate its importation requirements, transportation and downstream marketing.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Fafa Sanyang, said his ministry would continue to sharpen the management instrument of the sector through legislative and policy updates with a view to supporting the growth of the sector and promoting local participation.
He said the regulations are necessary given the fact that petroleum operations are dynamic and require periodic reviewing of policies and regulatory tools in line with modern practices.
“The ministry will ensure that all aspects of the petroleum product supply chains are regulated, ranging from importation, consumption, quality and pricing wise. When we say regulated, we don’t mean control, but to provide certainty and a level playing field as well as safety,” he said.
He said despite all the challenges over the years, the well established old marketing companies among others, who were concerned about their reputation, “take it upon themselves to regulate the industry by applying basic good industrial practices.”
“However, with the coming of indigenous local operators with minimal structures, and less experience, it is becoming more and more imperative to have guidelines and regulations to place certainty in the sector,” he declared.
He said the new government intends to reverse all that, “with these sets of regulation to create a level playing field.”
Meanwhile, the PS ministry of petroleum and energy, Mod K. Ceesay, said the petroleum sector is at a cross-road emerging from the syndrome of state captured monopoly cross activities in the sector,distorted market dynamics, unregulated and dwarf all oversight institutions and public sector institutions.
He said the ministry of petroleum and energy intends to reverse all that, and therefore embark upon reforming the sector starting with the reorganization of the public institutions and enforcing the Petroleum Act 2016.
The PURA director general in a statement read on his behalf by Mr. Babucarr, a staffer at PURA, said the Act has given PURA the mandate to regulate the downstream petroleum sector.
He said the petroleum sector has over the years remained largely unregulated, and “I believe all of you will agree with me that there is a precious need for this sector to be regulated in the public interest.”
“The mandate to regulate this sector allows both stakeholders and PURA the opportunity to solve pending issues in the sector, including increasing competition, protecting consumers as well as ensuring that standards are maintained for public safety,” he said.