On Thursday, the Nigerian Senate scrapped NNPC, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products and Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and several government agencies in the oil sector and created three new entities to oversee activities in the sector.
The three new entities are the National Petroleum Company (NPC), the National Petroleum Assets Management Commission (NPAMC) and the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC).
Under the new governance structure, the NPC would be an integrated oil and gas company, operating as a fully commercial entity that will run like a private company, while the NPAMC would be a single petroleum regulatory commission, which would focus mainly on regulating the industry. The NPRC would replace and take over the functions of PPPRA and DPR.
The bill also saddles the commission with the responsibility for health and safety regulations in the industry, and would collaborate with the Ministry of Environment on environmental issues.
The regulatory commission would be funded through a retention of 10 per cent of the revenue it generates for the government of the federation. The expenditure is however subject to appropriation by the National Assembly.
The rite of final passage began when the bill was read the third time and the Committee of the Whole considered the Report of the Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Petroleum Downstream and Gas presented by Senator Donald Alasoadura. It then went through the clause-by-clause ritual with minor amendments before it was passed.
“We made a commitment and it’s being fulfilled,” an elated Senate President Bukola Saraki said, adding: “This bill is not only for Nigerians but for our investors. We are proud of what has been done.”
Saraki’s excitement is understandable given the fact that the PIB had been with the National Assembly since 2000 but had suffered passage delays because of objections and concerns raised by International Oil Companies (IOCs) who felt threatened by the fiscal regimes proposed by the bill.
The passage got positive reviews from industry stakeholders on Thursday describing it as a welcome development that would create a vibrant industry.
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