ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPLICATION OF FULL SCALE DEREGULATION OF THE DOWNSTREAM OIL SECTOR ON THE NIGERIAN ECONOMY: THE NEOLIBERALISM APPROACH (Published)
Neoliberalism has eviscerated governance in Nigeria to the point that the basic welfare of the people seems no longer the priority of the government but the fulfillment of the western neoliberal ideals such as deregulation of the entire Nigerian economy and the privatization of the government’s erstwhile owned enterprises. This trend however, has caught up with the Nigerian oil sector, leading to the clamour for full scale deregulation; a fall out of the partial deregulation embarked upon since 1st January, 2011, which arose out of the sorry state of the Nigerian petroleum industry. This article therefore, examines the implication of the downstream oil sector on the Nigerian economy. It discusses the implication of deregulation of the downstream oil sector of Nigerian on her economy by highlighting the main thesis of the proponents and that of the opponents of deregulation and fuel subsidy removal. A likert-type scale was used in designing the questionnaire for data collection administered to the three core Niger-Delta states (Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa) where 1177 respondents were randomly selected for opinion sampling. Descriptive and chi-square was used and result revealed that deregulation of the downstream oil sector is a good policy that was wrongly implemented hence the existing four refineries are left in their comatose state with promises of a total turn around mentainance. Explicitly, it is recommended that Nigeria should embark on deregulation of the sector but only after the existing refineries have been resuscitated through commercialization to ensure a fair and stable price of the product as well as its availability and stop importation of refined oil into the country.