01 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The successful passage of Petroleum Industry Governance Bill by the Senate has stipulated in clear terms the functions and responsibilities of the Minister.
According to the Act obtained by Sweetcrude Reports, the Minister shall be responsible for the determination, formulation, and monitoring of Government policy for the petroleum industry.
He/She will exercise general supervision over the affairs and operations of the petroleum industry subject to the provisions of the Act, and report developments in the petroleum industry to the Federal Executive Council.
The Minister shall advise the Government on all matters pertaining to the petroleum industry; promote the development of local content in the Nigerian petroleum industry; represent Nigeria at international organisations that are primarily concerned with the petroleum industry; negotiate and execute international petroleum treaties and agreements with other sovereign countries, international organizations and other similar bodies on behalf of the Government;
Upon the recommendation of the Commission, the Minister shall grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke any licence or lease required for petroleum exploration or production pursuant to the provisions of this Act or any other enactment; and do all such other things as are incidental to and necessary for the performance of the functions of the Minister under this Act.
The Act states that the Minister may in writing delegate to any other person or institution any power or function conferred on him by or under the Act.
Rights of pre-emption
In the event of a state of national emergency as specified in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, the Act states that the Minister shall have the right of pre-emption of all petroleum and petroleum products obtained, marketed or otherwise dealt with under any license or lease granted under this Act or any other enactment.
The Act stated that any person, who fails or neglects to comply with a requisition made by or on behalf of the Minister under paragraphs 1, 2 or 7 of the First Schedule to the Act, or fails to conform or to obey a direction issued by the Minister under paragraph 8 of the First Schedule to this Act, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not above N10,000,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both.
It added that any person who obstructs or interferes with the Minister, his servants or agents in the exercise of the powers conferred on the Minister under paragraph 8 of the First Schedule to this Act, shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction shall be liable to a fine not above N5,000,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both.
“The Minister may by regulation increase the financial penalties imposed under subsections 3 and 4 of this section,” the Act stated