30 June 2012, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Special Task force on the Review of Petroleum Industry Bill and the Petroleum Industry Bill Technical Committee yesterday submitted their reports to the President and other stake holders at the presidential Villa with a promise from the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dezani Allison Maduekwe that President Goodluck Jonathan, will submit the Bill to the National Assembly within the next fourteen days (14days).
Speaking with State House correspondents after the ceremony, the minister said the revised draft would be discussed by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) next week.
“We will prepare for the presentation to the Federal Executive Council, my assumption therefore is that within the next 10 to 14 days, it will be in their hands but again that will be at the pleasure of Mr. President. ”Ours is to present it and review it with government stakeholders as it is done for every bill”, she said .
The minister said “This bill has been 50 years in the making, it has taken a long time. It went through the entire gamut of the sixth session of the National Assembly and it did not get promulgated into law. In agreement with the seventh Assembly, we took it back and completely reviewed it again.
”This is not a small bill, it is a critical bill for this country and for our oil and gas sector, therefore at this point, government will do the final review and put it in front of the FEC for approval; part of that process is that it will go through the Attorney-General office.
Nigerians should understand that we have been in a hurry for a long time to put this bill out but we will try to ensure that by the time it enters the National Assembly, we are very comfortable with it and we are putting forward a bill that we believe the oil and gas sector can stand on and can grow on for many years to come in this country.”
Giving insight into the Bill, Mrs Alison Maduekwe said “the teams have reconfigured the various sections. The fiscal regimes used are so much different. The manner and templates for various calculations have been looked at differently and other fiscal areas.
”The issue of domestic gas and fiscal regime for domestic gas have been looked at robustly. The issue of the reconfiguration of the NNPC to ensure that it becomes the commercial entity that it is supposed to be and we can actually grow a first rate national oil company that over the years will grow to compete with other national oil companies of the likes of Petronas, Petrobras etc.
”All these have been looked at. The administrative roles and some of the others have also been looked at. The intention to ensure that going forward, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources is actually a professionally run ministry and that it engages professionals in the oil and gas sector .
”We have professionals now, but they are along the administrative line. We want to ensure that like other agencies of government, there are professionals in the ministry itself so that the ministry is not dependant solely on its technical status.”
She explained that “ A lot of details have gone into it; we have looked at the fiscal regime, we have looked at the reconfiguration of the NNPC to ensure that going forward, it becomes the commercial entity it should have been all along. We have also looked at other administrative roles within the gamut of the sector as well. I think that the teams have done a very good job; we are very pleased”.
Yakubu commits to reposition NNPC
In his first public statement since he was appointed the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the new helmsman, Andrew Yakubu, yesterday promised that he will work towards repositioning the corporation for better service delivery.
Speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa where he was part of a delegation led by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dezani Allison-Maduekwe to present the Draft Petroleum Industry Bill to the president, Mr Yakubu said the perception of Nigerians about the NNPC would also be changed.
According to him, his appointment as a GMD of the NNPC was a call to service which required that in the discharge of his duties he would be transparent and responsible.
”The NNPC is the mainstay of the nation’s economy. We must reposition NNPC for better service; we must reposition it to support the economy.”
We will work very hard with the Nigerian public and all the stakeholders.
He emphasised that “We shall be transparent and responsible. We will work towards changing the perception. NNPC staff is dedicated to service, they are professional, and there are areas of improvement that we can bring to bear. You will agree with me that in the recent past, we have had quite a number of challenges; a lot of eyes are on us on the way we do our business. Those criticisms have been taken on board, my new management will plough them back into the system, we will review our processes and we will reposition NNPC for growth”.
On how he intends to achieve this, Mr Yakubu said “We shall be open and transparent as possible and we will take in good faith all the comments and observations that have been made about how we do our business. We will bow to advice and constructive criticisms”.
Speaking on the PIB he said, the NNPC boss noted that “The PIB Bill is supposed to cut across the oil and gas industry. NNPC as a national oil company is a component of that bill. What we will do is to make our own input. Every country will want to grow their asset base, grow their expertise and grow the various key components that will enable them grow in terms of asset and expertise. We will make our own inputs into all those elements to ensure that they are properly captured”.