By Sebastine Obasi
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has called for the sensitization of the populace on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, which is currently on the desk of the President.
The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru in his key note address at the annual conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria with the theme “PIGB: Emerging Issues and Concerns” said, there is an urgent need to sensitize the general public on the bill, to ensure it has the needed effect in the sector.
The NNPC boss who was represented by the General Manager, National Petroleum Investment Management Service, NAPIMS, Mr. Roland Ewubare said, the country presently does not need the establishment of more companies but should provide solutions to the current menace ravaging the sector.
Baru said, the Petroleum Industry Bill which was first introduced to the National Assembly in 2008 as an omnibus Executive Bill meant to update the entirety of the Oil and Gas laws in existence at the time met a brick wall, as all efforts made to the passage of the bill by previous parliamentary sessions were not successful.
“The PIGB is focused on the key governing institutions in Nigeria’s Oil and Gas industry and aims to separate the Regulatory, Policy and Commercial roles of public sector agencies and allocate respective roles to agency to properly positioned to perform them” he stated.
He reiterated that the clear separation of the regulatory and commercial functions was a major step forward and critical fulcrum of the bill, adding “it can be conveniently asserted that, the PIGB seeks to create an avenue for better investment opportunities, make the petroleum sector more transparent and also ensure better accountability of revenue derived from the nation’s vast oil and Gas resources by clearly delineating the functions and role of the three key institutions”
Baru also explained that the PIGB requires the Minister to within six months after its enactment take steps that are necessary under the Companies and Allied Matter Act to incorporate the Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Company as companies limited by shares, which will be vested with certain liabilities and assets of the NNPC.
According to him, there is need for advocacy as well as educating the populace on the gains and effects that the PIGB will have on the oil industry and the economy at large.
“The PIGB largely reflects the aspirations of the industry for the emplacement of an effective policy, commercial and regulatory framework that will promote growth and efficient operations” he said.