The Senate, on Thursday, passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill. The PIGB is the first part of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which the National Assembly has failed to pass over the years. Senate also seeks to unbundle the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and merged its subsidiaries into an entity.
This recommendation was in the report presented by the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas) on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which was adopted by the Senate at the plenary on the 24th of this month.
In a presentation by Senator Tayo Alasoadura, Chairman, the Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) and the Senate Committee on Petroleum, he stated that some subsidiaries of the NNPC had also been merged into an entity to be known as the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) on the floor of the Senate.
“Our report proposes a slim, focused yet robust framework for effective institutional governance of the Nigeria petroleum industry. We supported and enhanced the creation of an independent one-stop-shop regulatory agency, which will absorb the present Department of Petroleum Resources, Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalization Fund into one agency”.
“We have streamlined and sharpened the role of the Minister of Petroleum Resources. We have also enhanced the extensive reform of NNPC into two limited liability companies; the National Petroleum Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company to ensure efficient and effective commercial performance”.
“In carrying out our assignment we have ensured that the major lapses associated with prior institutional frameworks have been remedied” He said.
After a clause-by-clause consideration, with few amendments by the senate members, the Senate approved the bill which promises to change the way businesses are done in the oil sector.
The bill seeks to open up the sector to more and better business opportunities, make the sector more transparent, and ensure better accountability of revenue derived from oil.
If the bill assents to by the President, it would not only change the way NNPC, Department for Petroleum Resources activities works but also create new agencies with more responsibilities.