Sylva Inaugurates Committee To Implement Petroleum Industry Act

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, speaks at the inauguration of the Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in Abuja on August 19, 2021.

 

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has inaugurated the Steering Committee for the Implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.

The inauguration ceremony held on Thursday in Abuja, a day after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the constitution of the committee with a directive to immediately commence the implementation of the PIA.

“To get us started on this all-important assignment, I hereby inaugurate the Steering Committee, as well as the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat, and wish us all success in our collective quest to change the face of the Nigerian petroleum industry, to position it as a proactive catalyst for spurring sustainable economic growth of our beloved country,” the minister told members of the committee.

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“Given the timeline set by Mr President and the urgency of the implementation requirement, there is no gainsaying in the fact that total commitment to this assignment is a critical success factor.

“Undoubtedly, members of the steering committee possess the capacity to contribute to the transformation of the petroleum industry, and unlock the potentials that are replete in the entire value chain.”

Sylva urged the committee members to live up to their responsibility, saying a lot was expected of them from Nigerians and foreign stakeholders.

He stressed the need to do all that it takes to deliver on the assignment, in a manner that best achieves the collective vision for bringing the anticipated gains to the country.

According to the minister, the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat has the onerous task of developing the briefs that will be presented to the committee for consideration and approval.

He explained that the briefs would cover all the relevant subject matters contemplated by the law, including the design of the institutions, personnel movements, development of procedures and processes for the institutions, model contracts and regulations, and generally providing legal advice on implementation matters.

Sylva went on to reveal that the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat has been organised into four workstreams, to position the committee to get quality briefs.

He listed the workstreams to include legal, coordination and planning, communications and stakeholder management, as well as administration and finance.

“Each of these workstreams has distinct mandates and expected outcomes which will be presented to the steering committee for consideration and possible approval,” the minister said.

While approving the constitution of the committee, President Buhari had also directed that it has 12 months for the assignment.

He had decried that the lack of political will has hampered the growth of the industry, saying this has led to a loss of about $50 billion for the country in the last 10 years.

A lawyer, Olufemi Lijadu, is the External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.

Other members include Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr Sani Gwarzo; and Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari.

Others are Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami; President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Natural Resources, Dr Nuhu Habib; as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

Petroleum Industry Act: FG Should Checkmate Spending Of Allocated Funds To Host Communities – Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has asked the Federal Government to checkmate the spending of the allocated funds to host communities.

The Petroleum Industry bill was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

In the bill, host communities in the Niger Delta are expected to benefit from three percent of an entity’s actual yearly operating expenditure of the preceding financial year in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.

All contributions will be deposited in a trust fund for host communities.

However, some southern leaders had advocated for the percentage to be increased.

 

A combination of file photos of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Nyesom Wike.

 

But Wike, who reacted to the recently signed document during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, said leaving host communities with the funds will cause a lot of crisis.

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While noting that he is not against the allocation of the funds to communities in the Niger Delta region, the governor said there was the need for the money to be properly monitored.

“Paying to the host communities and leaving them alone will cause a lot of crisis. There should have been something to checkmate the communities,” Wike said. “You are not paying to the government, I do agree. You don’t need to pay to the government. Such problems, it is necessary to nip them in the bud. You don’t allow the communities to spend the funds, there will be a loophole.”

“Knowing the antecedents of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to cause crisis in the communities for them not to release such funds to them, I was thinking that government would have had a hand in other to monitor the spending of such funds.

“What we were told is that the host communities will be determined by the operators. What we were told is that the funds will be sent directly to the host communities. If that is the case, then there are problems,” he said.