14 December 2016, Abuja – The federal government wants the proposed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) to approve a single regulator for the petroleum industry operations to remove the powers form different regulatory agencies.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said in his presentation at the public hearing by the Senate on the draft Bill that what the industry needed was a regulator for the upstream, midstream and downstream oil, gas and products regulation, as well as technical, economic and health, safety and environment regulation.
Also, the minister said there was need for the proposed law to establish a clear relationship between the Minister of Petroleum Resources’ role as the overall supervisor of the industry and the institution responsible for the regulation.
To ensure checks and balances on regulatory powers, in terms of administrative law, Mr. Kachikwu said there was need to ensure the power to issue regulations at all times resided with the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
“The counter check on this is that technical issues are handled by the regulator, for consideration of the Minister, who upon approval of the recommendation, will issue the appropriate regulation,” he said.
He said fundamental to resolving the question of the governance of the industry, and the role of law was presenting a more effective governance and institutional model for the management of the country’s petroleum resources and the regulation of activities within the sector.
According to the minister, all studies conducted on the petroleum sector since 1999 were on government’s role in the sector to be better clarified, while the mandate of the policy, regulatory and commercial institutions be refocused.
The objective, he said, was to ensure better sector governance, transparency of regulations and operations, accountability of the institutions, and removal of opaqueness around the industry.