FG scraps DPR, PEF, PPPRA, inaugurates CEOs of new agencies
The Federal Government of Nigeria has officially inaugurated the leaderships of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).
The government has by this development scrapped the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and Petroleum Products Pricing Authority (PPPRA) whose assets and liabilities are to be transferred to the new agencies.
Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who inaugurated the chief executive officers of the new agencies at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Abuja, said the event was historic and marked the beginning of a new era in oil and gas industry.
Sylva noted that the two new regulatory agencies had effectively taken off after their chief executives collected their appointment letters.
The minister explained that the new law, the Federal Government was expecting a quantum growth in the oil and gas sector, which has been inactive for a long time while investors were watching from a distance.
He further explained that the PIA had clarified the legal framework around the sector and the agencies, adding that he did not see anything stopping investors from coming because the country was lucky to have very competent industry people with proven experience.
“The two agencies can hit the ground running, Nigeria should brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas,” he said.
Speaking on the fate of DPR, PEF, and PPPRA, the minister explained that it remained a matter of law, as the Petroleoum Industry Act, PIA, states that all the assets and even the staff of the agencies would be vested in the new Commission and the Authority.
“This means that they don’t exist again, because the acts establishing them have been repealed.
“However, there would be staff rationalization. But the staff of both the agencies would be coming from the defunct agencies and the process of absolving them would take some time,” Sylva said.
Dr Nasir Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, in his remark, urged all the staff members of the defunct agencies not to be afraid over their future, saying that everyone would be fairly treated
He assured the staff and the CEOs of the defunct agencies that the transition process had been fine tuned in such a way that it would be hitch free because the minister would provide the leadership to ensure that everything was done fairly.
Gbenga Komolafe, the new head of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) reassured Nigerians that the enactment of PIA would usher in massive turnaround in the activities of the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas sector.
Komolafe said the main focus of NURC would be on how to ensure that there was enhanced production activities in Nigeria so that she would be able to meet her OPEC quota and also deliver to Nigerians a 21st centaury regulatory commission.
He said that the desire to exit the onshore and shallow onshore assets by OICs remained purely an investment decision but that the companies would be engaged to understand their challenges and see how the commission could intervene.
Farouk Ahmed, the new CEO of NMDPRA, said that he would give a lot of attention to gas development which would lead to job creation and attract investment to the sector.