17 August 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has called for the sensitization of the populace on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill which is currently awaiting the assent of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru in his keynote address at the annual conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, NAEC with the theme “PIGB: Emerging Issues and Concerns” he said, there is need an urgent need to sensitized the general public on the bill, if not it would go the same way other bills have gone and also not have any effect in the sector.
The NNPC boss who was represented by the by the General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Service, Mr. Roland Ewubare said, the country presently does not need the creation of more companies but providing solutions to the current menace ravaging the sector.
Baru said the Petroleum Industry Bill which was first introduced to the National Assembly in 2008 as an omnibus Executive Bill meant to update the entirety of the Oil and Gas laws in existence at the time meant a brick wall, as all efforts to the passage of the bill by prior parliamentary sessions were not successful.
He stated that the current National Assembly claimed that the major hindrance to the passage of the bill, was its bogus package as a single instrument, thus decided to break it down into a smaller number and defined one, which now gave birth to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB)
“The PIGB is focused on the key governing institutions in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry and aims to separate the Regulatory, Policy and Commercial roles of public sector agencies and allocate respective roles to the agency to properly positioned to perform them” he stated.
He reiterated that, the clear separation of the regulatory and commercial functions was a major step forward and critical fulcrum of the bill, he added that “it can be conveniently asserted that the PIGB seeks to create an avenue for better investment opportunities, make the petroleum sector more transparent and also ensure better accountability of revenue derived from the nation’s vast oil and Gas resources by clearly delineating the functions and role of the three key institutions”
Baru revealed that the PIGB requires the Minister to within six months after its enactment takes steps that are necessary under the Companies and Allied Matter Act to incorporate the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Company as companies limited by shares, which will be vested with certain liabilities and assets of the NNPC.
He disclosed that, after the bill is passed into law, the NPC shall be an integrated oil and gas company operating as a fully commercial entity across the value chain and responsible for all assets currently held by NNPC except the PSCs.
Baru said, there is a need for advocacy and educating the populace on the gains and effects that the PIGB will have on the Oil industry and the economy at large needs to be properly communicated.
“The PIGB largely reflects the aspirations of the industry for the emplacement of an effective policy, commercial and regulatory framework that will promotes growth and efficient operations” he said.