…CEOs sacked, workers to be absorbed
In line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Department of Petroleum Resources, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund have been wound down, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has announced.
While declaring the agencies and department extinct, he said their workers would be protected, but their chief executives not spared.
Sylva spoke on the sidelines of the inauguration of the boards of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Abuja.
“With the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NPRA and NURC have taken over the functions of the DPR, PPPRA and PEF,” he said.
On DPR following the inauguration of the board of NURC, Sylva said:“It is now a matter of law. 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.
“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.”
On the fate of chief executive officers and employees of DPR, PEF and PPPRA, Sylva clarified: “The law also provides for the staff and the jobs in those agencies to be protected.
“But I’m sure that that doesn’t cover, unfortunately, the chief executives, who were on political appointments.”
According to the former Bayelsa governor, the process for aligning the workers of the defunct agencies with the new regulatory bodies has commenced as the staff will be rationalized.
“The authority has its staff coming from the defunct PEF, PPPRA and DPR. The commission has staff coming over from DPR and the process is going on for the next few weeks.”
“The PIA provides for the upstream regulatory commission and the establishment of the midstream and downstream authority.
“So far, the chief executives of these agencies have not been in place, but of course, Mr President in his wisdom made the appointment a few weeks ago and they went through a rigorous process of confirmation at the National Assembly.
“The agencies have now taken off because they now have clear leadership and today’s event marks that beginning for the new agencies,” Sylva said.
Noting that the PIA after about 20 years in the works, he said the coast was now clear for investors to invest in Nigeria’s oil sector.
“Today, the PIA has clarified the legal framework around the sector and the agencies are now in place. So I don’t see anything now stopping investors from coming.”
The CEO of NURC, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, promised that the commission would deliver on its mandate as envisiaged by the new PIA.
“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.
“The commission will ensure that the country hits its OPEC quota in crude oil production as the NURC will be an enabler of investments.”