Despite the objections of oil marketers, the Senate on Wednesday passed the harmonised version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) that adopted a single regulator for upstream and downstream operations.
The passage followed the adoption of the report by the Conference Committee on the PIGB, which harmonised the versions earlier passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.
Oil marketers had canvassed the establishment of different regulators for upstream and downstream operations, noting that adopting only one will make the process of monitoring cumbersome.
The bill seeks to establish the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission, to be vested with “all assets, funds, resources and other movable and immovable properties, which immediately before the effective date were held by the Petroleum Inspectorate, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.”
The bill added, “As from the date of commencement of this Act, the rights, interests, obligations and liabilities of the PI, DPR and the PPPRA existing immediately before the effective date under any contract or instrument or law or in equity shall by virtue of this Act be assigned to and vested in the commission.”
The harmonised version of the bill seeks to unbundle the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and merge its subsidiaries such as the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency into one entity.
The proposed law seeks to establish the Petroleum Equalisation Fund “into which shall be paid all monies payable to the Equalisation Fund,” including a five per cent fuel levy “in respect of all fuel sold and distributed within the federation, which shall be charged subject to the approval of the minister (of Petroleum Resources).”