Barely one month after assenting to the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, is seeking to amend the Act.
In a letter read yesterday on the floor of the senate, President Buhari is seeking to amend the memberships of the boards of the some of the regulatory institutions created by the Act.
President Buhari explained that the appointment of two non-executive members to the board of the midstream, downstream and upstream commissions, as provided for by the Act, did not reflect balanced geopolitical representation.
Buhari requested amendment to Sections 11(2)(b) and 34(2)(b), which provide for the administrative structure of the PIA 2021, to increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six on the upstream as well as midstream and downstream boards. He noted that doing so would foster national unity and provide a sense of participation and inclusion to almost every section of the country in the decision-making of strategic industry, such as the oil industry.
In addition, the president proposed the deletion of sections 11(2) (f), 11(2) (g), 34(2) (f) and 34(2) (g) from the Act, which would achieve the removal of the ministries of petroleum resources and finance from both boards.
The latest requests came about 48 hours after the president, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, triggered Section 53(1) of the PIA, directing the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited and approving the formation of a new board, which would be headed by Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, as THISDAY newspaper reports.
In a related development, President Buhari has constituted the boards of the regulatory bodies created in the Act. The president retained Mr. Sarki Auwalu, who currently heads the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), as Chief Executive Officer of the proposed midstream and downstream authority. He listed Chairman of the authority as Idaere Gogo Ogan; Abiodun Adeniji as Executive Director, Finance and Accounts; and Ogbugo Ukoha as Executive Director, Distributions Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure.