The official who pleaded anonymity, on Thursday in Abuja daid that the Federal Government was still meeting with stakeholders in the sector.
According to the official, this is to ensure the best way to go about the deregulation process in order to benefit the generality of Nigerians.
“The Federal Government is still consulting with stakeholders on the deregulation of the downstream sector.
“You will recall that the Federal Government has said the deregulation will be a gradual process so as to meet the interest of Nigerians,’’ he said.
He noted that the Federal Government had made provisions for subsidy payment in the 2013 budget, although with some stringent measures.
The official expressed optimism that the deregulation of the downstream sector would bring efficiency to the sector and impact positively on the nation’s economy.
He said that the NNPC on its part would continue to work assiduously to ensure the availability of petroleum products across the country.
Jonathan had on Tuesday in Lagos at the Nigeria Summit, re-echoed the need to deregulate the downstream sector of the petroleum industry.
“We cannot continue to waste resources meant for a greater number of Nigerians to subsidise the affluent middle class who are the main beneficiaries,” Jonathan said.
The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, was also reported to have stressed the need to deregulate the downstream sector while briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.
““Without deregulation, you will never have a sustainable downstream sector of the economy. We cannot generate jobs in the sector; we cannot have an orderly market,’’ Maku said.
Maku said that selling the idea of deregulation to Nigerians remained the biggest challenge by his ministry in 2012.