By Henry Umoru
THE Federal Government Monday said that there are no plans to Scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC in the Petroelum Industry Bill 2020 that has been transmitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Answering questions from journalists in Abuja after an interactive meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, allayed the fears of staff of NNPC.
He said that the bill seeks for the commercialisation of NNPC and not outright scrapping.
The meeting which was Presided over by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, with the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and other Leaders of the National Assembly in attendance is aimed at discussing the details of a draft copy of the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB).
Sylva said, “We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped but that is not envisaged by the Bill at all.
“NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialised in line with deregulation move being made across all the streams in the sector comprising of upstream, downstream and midstream.
“We have said that NNPC will be commercialised. But If you are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing that we are introducing is the development of the midstream— that is the pipeline sector.
“That sector between the upstream and the downstream which, because the framework was not there, has not really developed very well.
“So we have provided robustly for the growth of the midstream sector.
“Through commercialisation , the required competitiveness in the sector , will be achieved ”
The Minister also explained that the host communities will also have the best deal from the bill .
According to him , through the PIB the industry will be transformed and the PEF and the PPPRA will not exist in the same form that they exist today.
He said, “I am sure that the PIB will also take care of that because with the PIB the industry will be transformed and the PEF and the PPPRA will not exist in the same form that they exist today.
“But I don’t want want to go into the details of the Bill until it is read on the floor of the Senate.”