Nigeria: PENGASSAN accuses govt of killing PPPRA

*PENGASSAN member working a pump control head.

*PENGASSAN member working a pump control head.

Ike Amos

05 March 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja — Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has accused the Federal Government of gradually killing the Petroleum products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, through its disregard for the Act setting up the agency in the appointments of chief executives for the agency.

Comrade Victor Ononokpono, Chairman, PENGASSAN, PPPRA Branch disclosed that the Federal Government’s constant appointment of staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to head the PPPRA was unthinkable and has helped in rendering the agency ineffective in the discharge of its duties.

According to him, the persistent deployment of staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to head the PPPRA is a flagrant contravention of certain sections of the PPPRA Act.

He said, “Portions of the Act of the PPPRA had remained unattainable under the regime of having operatives of operating company head the regulator. How do you regulate your bosses? How do you query your paymaster? How do we align with global best practices? How do we promote control and checks in corporate governance? These are the questions the protest seeks answers to.”

He further explained that the PPPRA was created to among other things, liberalise the downstream sector, dismantle monopoly, resolve the perennial problem of scarcity of petroleum products and supervise planned deregulation of the oil and gas downstream sector.

He said, “It is important to note that, the Act establishing the PPPRA contemplated an autonomous agency to primarily determine the pricing policy of petroleum products and regulate their supply and distribution.”

“The above has remained unattainable under the regime of having operatives of operating company head the regulator. How do you regulate your bosses? How do you query your paymaster? How do we align with global best practices? How do
we promote control and checks in corporate governance? These are the questions the protest seeks answers to.”

He registered the displeasure of the union over the appointment of NNPC staff to head PPPRA while he noted that the appointment had changed the prospect of the PPPRA in an undesirable way.

He said, “From that point onward, the independence of the once revered and respected downstream regulator took a continuous slide towards partisanship and collusion.

“An agency that had created a niche for thoroughness and professionalism soon became the weakest link in the chain. That trend will later lead to the worst moments in the annals of the oil and gas sector beginning from 2011.”

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