The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has been scraped by the Senate. This is following the passage of the controversial Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).
NAIJ.com gathered that the Senate had on Thursday May 25, considered and passed the much talked about PIGB, after its clause by clause consideration.
In place of NNPC, the Senate recommended the establishment of three new agencies to effectively manage the largely troubled oil and gas sector.
Among the agencies established in the bill, is the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC), which shall be headed by a Chairman.
NAIJ.com had previously reported that the Senate uncovered N10tr fraud in NNPC. The commission will also consist of Commissioners, whose appointments and removal shall be subject to Senate approval.
The Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is now under the new commission. The PIGB also established the Nigerian Petroleum Asset Management Company (NPAMC) and National Petroleum Company (NPC), to coordinate the activities of other existing agencies, including the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The bill which consists of 132 clauses has taken time to come, having outlived the 5th to 7th Senate, making the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to describe its passage as “historical”.
When signed into law, the document is expected to stimulate Nigeria’s oil and gas sector. It is also expected to help Nigeria reduce corruption and inefficiency in the sector.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Senator Tayo Alasoadura said he was delighted that his committee could achieve much on the bill.
“Today we have achieved what people believed was impossible to accomplish”, he told Journalists. It could be recalled that nine months ago, the Senate mandated its relevant committees to work on the old copy of the PIB, which was divided into different compartments.
On his part, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas, Akpan Bassey, said, the “jinx has been broken”.
He expressed optimism that the bill would create confidence on how the business of oil and gas was done in the country.
“It will create the right signal to international community that Nigeria is ready for business”, he said. A statement signed by Saraki’s media office said, “Today, the Senate passed the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), 2017. This followed the final consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas).
“The intent of this landmark legislation is to establish a legal framework for the creation of a more efficient, transparent, competitive and internationalized petroleum industry.
“The Bill, which was introduced by Sen. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo Central), also seeks to create a conducive business environment for theoperations of the petroleum industry and overhaul the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the driving force behind the PIGB’s progression through the Senate, said the “Senate’s action today culminates some 12 long years of legislative attempts to reform the petroleum sector. Now, we are a step closer to bringing better governance and transparency to Nigeria’s most important economic sector.”