Acting Director- General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr. Vincent Onome Akpotaire has explained how the Ministry of Petroleum Resources truncated the first passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) first prepared by the bureau, lamenting that since then, it has become difficult to put a new one in place.
Akpotaire who spoke while delivering a paper on Petroleum Industry Reform in Nigeria: Reinventing the Wheel by Innovation which he presented at the National Stakeholder’ Workshop on the Petroleum Industry Reform in Abuja on Monday, said the way forward is to revert to the PIB version of produced by BPE, which was already in its second reading stage before the Ministry truncated it over 10 years ago.
It was at that point of public hearing that the Ministry made additional legal and regulatory provisions for a third regulator-the mid-stream petroleum sector regulator as well as other ancillary provisions that were claimed to have been omitted in the FEC’s approved draft Bill.
“This consequently led to the redrafting of other versions the PIB which he noted, conflict with the NCP’s reform mandate and the globally accepted framework in the sector”, he disclosed.
He enumerated the various faults inherent in the 2009, 2012 and 2015 versions, which made them unrealizable.
He narrated that the 2009 version of the PIB seeks among others; to promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum sector in Nigeria, separate the commercial institutions in the sector from the regulatory and policy making institutions deregulate petroleum product prices, increase domestic supply and put in place a fiscal framework for increased revenue.
Similarly, he said that the 2015 version of the PIB which is privately sponsored is outlined in only two parts, not properly structured into parts, creates an Asset Management Company, creates a Frontier Exploration Services, does not state who carries out the implementation of the reforms in the Oil and Gas Sector; and also does not state who manages the funds on behalf of the Petroleum Host Communities Fund (PHCF).
Akpotaire recommended that since the 2009 PIB approved by FEC had no controversial provisions, having had the benefit of review by stakeholders, it should be represented with necessary adjustments to reflect the current realities in the sector to the National Assembly for enactment.