How Petroleum Ministry stalled passage of PIB, by BPE

24 July 2016, Abuja – Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), is blaming the Ministry of Petroleum Resources for scuttling the passage of the first Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

PIB-600x330Acting Director-General, Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire of the bureau also said that the 2015 version of the PIB, which he said was privately sponsored, outlined in only two parts, and not properly structured into parts.

In a paper titled: “The Petroleum Industry Reform in Nigeria: Reinventing the Wheel by Innovation” which he presented at the National Stakeholder’ workshop on the Petroleum Industry Reform” in Abuja, Akpotaire said the new PIB creates an Asset Management Company, Frontier Exploration Ser-vices, and does not state who carries out the implementation of the reforms in the oil and gas sector.

He added that it does not state who manages the Petroleum Host Communities Fund (PHCF).

He regretted that the first attempt to pass the PIB was stalled by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources after it had passed through the first and second reading and subsequently tabled for public hearing.

“The Ministry at that point made additional legal and regulatory provisions for a third regulator-the mid-stream petroleum sector regulator as well as other ancillary provisions that were claimed to have been omitted in the FEC’s approved draft bill”, he added.

Akpotaire said, this consequently led to the redrafting of other versions of the PIB, conflicted with the National Council for Privatisation (NCP’s) reform mandate and the globally accepted framework in the sector.

In the 2012 version for instance, he highlighted some of the differences as:

“Part one of the 2012 PIB is ambiguous as it does not expressly state who will drive the sector (i.e. public or private sector). This could affect private sector confidence, especially with the powers the Bill seeks to confer on the Minister as well as the huge New National Oil Company;

“11 of the bill relating to the role of the Minister particularly sections 6(g), 6(h) and section 8(6) in which the minister is the final authority on purely regulatory matters could be overbearing, and could lead to conflict of interests/executive abuse;

“Section 152 (10) seeks delisting of the NNPC enterprises listed under the Public Enterprises Privatisation and Commercialisation Act and the vacation of the power of Attorney earlier granted the BPE. It amounts to back-door amendment of the Public Enterprises (Privatisation and Commercialisation) Act 1999 and invariably halting the Federal Government’s divesture of its shareholding in the refineries, Nigeria gas Company (NGC) and Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC); and

“The power of appointment, discipline and removal of the heads of the proposed regulatory agencies resides with one arm of the Government whereas it ought to be that the functions be subjected to an approval process by another arm of Government as it is obtainable in the Electricity Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act 2005 and the National Communi-cations Commission (NCC) Act.”

Akpotaire recommended that since the 2009 PIB approved by FEC had no controversial provisions, having had the benefit of review by stakeholders, it should be represented with necessary adjustments to reflect the current realities in the sector to the National Assembly for enactment.

 

  • The Guardian
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