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PIA: DPR, PPPRA, PEF no longer exist with appointment of CEOs for new regulators -FG

Federal Government has disclosed that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) have ceased to exist following the appointment of new Chief Executive Officers for the new regulatory agencies created by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva who disclosed this in Abuja while inaugurating Mr. Gbenga Komolafe as the CEO of the Upstream Regulatory Commission and Mr. Farouk Ahmed as CEO of Nigerian Midstream & Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA), said the new CEOs are now incharge of regulating the oil and gas industry.

He therefore challenged them on the importance of growing the oil and gas industry, following drop in direct investment into the sector.

According to him, “This is historic because it marks the beginning of the successor agencies. The PIA provides for the Upstream Regulatory Commission and the establishment of the Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, the CEOs of these are agencies are now in place.
“Therefore the agencies have taken off because they now have clear leadership and today’s event marks that beginning for the new agencies”.

He tasked the CEOs on the need for smooth take off of the agencies adding that “from the effective date of the PIA those agencies are in place but unfortunately there were no leadership so they could not take off but now there is nothing to wait for”.

Chief Sylva also stated that he was “expecting a lot of growth and development of the industry. The oil industry has been stagnated for a long time because the process of passing the PIA has been very arduous and took over 20 years. A lot of companies and investors took and a sit-down and watch approach, but the PIA has now clarified the framework around the sector, I don’t see anything stopping investors from coming in”.

While describing the CEOs as “industry and competent people” that should hit the ground running, he added that Nigerians should “brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas”.

On the fate of the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), the Minister noted that the agencies have ceased to exist with the coming of the PIA.

He stressed that while the law provided for the transfer of career staff in the old institutions into the new ones, political appointees was not covered.

“It is a matter of law, the law states that all the assets and staff of DPR are going to be vested in the Commission and also in the Authority, that means the DPR will not have anything, it doesn’t exist anymore, technically. It also repeals the Petroleum Inspectorate Act, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Act and the PPPRA Act.

“It is very clear that those agencies do not exist anymore. The law also provides for the staff, the jobs in those agencies are protected but that doesn’t cover unfortunately the CEOs who were on political appointments”.

He disclosed that staff rationalization was currently ongoing, explaining that NPRA staff would come from the defunct PEF, PPPRA and from DPR, while the Commission staff will come from DPR.
Speaking to journalists after the inauguration, Mr. Komolafe said the Commission would seek to not just be a regulator for the upstream but also a business enabler for the sector.

He said the agency would work to ensure that Nigeria meets its OPEC oil production quota and benefits maximally from the current rise in price of oil.

On his part, Mr. Ahmed disclosed that the NPRA would urgently work with stakeholders to tackle the challenge of rising price of cooking gas.
Ahmed attributed the hike in price to poor investment into the gas sector over the years, saying with the abundance of gas, Nigeria should not struggle with gas supply.

Written by ExpressDay

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