By our reporter/ The federal government on Tuesday announced the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
As specified by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), two regulatory agencies, the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) and the Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) are to perform the duties of the defunct DPR, PPPRA and PEF.
Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, made the disclosure while inaugurating Gbenga Komolafe as the CEO of NURC and Farouk Ahmed as CEO of NMDPRA.
Sylva said the occasion marked the beginning of a new era in the oil and gas industry.
“The law states that all the assets and even the staff of the DPR are to be invested on the commission and also in the authority. So that means the DPR doesn’t exist anymore,” he said.
“And, of course, the law specifically repeals the DPR Act, the Petroleum Inspectorate Act, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund Act and the PPPRA Act. The law specifically repeals them. It is very clear that those agencies do not exist anymore.”
Sylva further stated that staff rationalisation is ongoing, explaining that NMDPRA staff would come from the defunct PEF, PPPRA and DPR, while NURC staff will come from DPR.
He added that with the passage of the PIA into law after spending over 20 years in the process, the coast is clear for investors to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector.
“Today’s (yesterday) event marks the beginning for the news agencies. Their assignment is simple – to make sure that the new agencies – take off immediately,” Sylva said.
“I am expecting a lot of growth and development in the oil industry. The oil industry has been stagnated for a long time because the process of passing the PIA was on for over 20 years.
“So a lot of companies, a lot of investors took a sit-down-and-watch approach. The PIA has clarified the legal framework around the sector and the agencies are in place. I don’t see anything now stopping investors from coming.
“And we are very lucky to have very competent industry people with proven experiences. So, we believe that they can hit the ground running and Nigerians should brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas sector.”
Also speaking at the event, Gbenga Komolafe, CEO of NURC, said the commission would deliver on its mandate as captured in the new petroleum act.
“Nigerians should expect massive deliverables in the sense that the PIA has ended the regime of uncertainty in terms of the governance of the industry,” he said.
Komolafe also said the commission would ensure that the country hits its OPEC quota in crude oil production, as the NURC would be an enabler of investments.