‘Underhand practices affecting downstream operations’

Oil marketers in the country have decried the continued pervasion of underhand practices in the downstream sector, describing such practices as affecting business performance and corporate governance.

According to the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), such activities if unchecked, will continue to affect the industry’s reputation, customer satisfaction and health, safety, environment and quality of services and products.

Speaking at a CEO Strategy retreat, the Chief Executive Officer of MOMAN, Clement Isong, expressed the view that good corporate governance practices lie at the core of good business performance impacting all stakeholders including shareholders, employees, service providers, transporters, dealers and ultimately, the Nigerian customer.

According to him, the image of the downstream sector of the oil & gas industry had, over the years, suffered considerable damage as a result of some underhand practices, particularly the penchant of some petrol station dealers for cheating at the pumps, as well as the unwillingness of some oil product transporters to present fit and proper vehicles and trained drivers for the movement of hazardous cargo such as petroleum products.

He also informed participants of stakeholders’ desire for a serious and sustainable relaunch of corporate governance mechanisms so as to adequately tackle challenges in the industry and boost stakeholder returns.

Also, the chairman of Junios Consulting, Osifo Segun Akpata described the speedy adoption of better governance practices in the industry as an imperative for progress.

He welcomed the launch of the new code and noted that if compliance with the code’s provisions by companies operating in Nigeria is rigorously enforced by the relevant authorities, the corporate space in the country will, in a few years, become very different.

Beyond improving productivity and reducing reputational risks, he added that well-run organizations are an irresistible attraction for foreign and domestic capital.

Participants however agreed that good corporate governance practices should be fully embraced at the level of boards who would drive the message downwards in the organization.

Source: TheGuardian

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