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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja Dike Onwuamaeze in Lagos and Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
President Muhammadu Buhari will today unveil an implementation committee for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), THISDAY learnt yesterday.
THISDAY exclusively gathered from a reliable source in the Presidency that the committee may be chaired by either the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva or someone with good knowledge of development economics.
The committee which has 12 months to carry out its tasks, would be saddled with the responsibility of establishment of Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority as well as the corporatisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to a Limited Liability Company, which will now be called Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
In addition, the committee would also be tasked with the responsibility of determining the assets and liabilities of the NNPC, which would be transferred to NNPC Limited.
Also, the committee would be tasked with the responsibility of determining the stranded or toxic assets and liabilities which would be taken over by government.
“The committee has 12 months to finish its job. Also, the committee will look into the conversion of the Oil Prospecting Licences (OPL) and Oil Mining Licences (OML) to Petroleum Prospecting Licences (PPL) and Petroleum Mining Licences (PML) respectively, which are the new names under the Act,” the source who preferred to remain anonymous added.
The PIA which was birthed on Monday, would serve as framework for the operations in the oil and gas industry. The law which had suffered several setbacks since 2008, when it was first presented to the National Assembly, aims at removing legal and regulatory uncertainties that have held back the industry’s growth.
The PIA provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry, the development of host communities, and related matters.
But the federal government yesterday clarified that it is not going to immediately remove the current subsidy being paid on the pump price of petrol, saying that it intends to manage the process to ensure that vulnerable Nigerians are not heavily impacted.