Dizeani Allison Madueke, Petroleum Minister
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has expressed concern about what it described as the creation of multiple regulatory agencies in the technical and commercial sectors of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector in the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Outgoing President of PENGASSAN, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Branch, Mr. Isah Ibrahim, stated at the third triennial branch delegates’ conference of the union in Abuja, that the new PIB, currently before the National Assembly for consideration and passage had got within it multiple regulatory agencies as against clamour in some quarters for a single functional regulatory agency.
Ibrahim, who spoke on various issues bothering on operations in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry vis-à-vis security of oil personnel and installations, oil theft, PIB, as well as funding and operations of DPR, stated that the union expected DPR, which formed the nucleus of the technical committee set up on the PIB by Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to have effected such change.
He said: “The PIB is a remarkable document that contains all the legal framework and requirements that will apply to the entire petroleum industry in Nigeria. It sets out to establish institutions and regulatory authorities for the oil and gas industry. However, the DPR has in the bill created multiple regulatory agencies both in the technical and commercial sectors of the oil and gas industry and this is a clear departure from the main thrust and intent for reform to make clear the different roles of government agencies that often have overlapping responsibilities.”
“The government should in the PIB create a single regulatory agency to be instituted with clear-cut mandate of what is required in order to eliminate the confusions and help the industry work more efficiently. The advantage of having a single regulatory agency is that it is cost saving and free from unnecessary encumbrances as global oil and gas industry have consolidated into technology-driven industry that is optimally policed by a single and efficient government regulatory body,”.
The PIB provides for the establishment of a Petroleum Technical Bureau, Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate, Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency, and National Petroleum Assets Management Corporation amongst others, a development, which Ibrahim vehemently condemned as multiplication of responsibilities in the sector.
He said: “The same regulatory principles are applicable both in the upstream and downstream sectors particularly in the case of Nigeria where consolidated regulatory body would assure optimal utilisation of available resources”.