Five weeks after he assented to the Petroleum Industry Bill making it a law, President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly on proposed Administrative Structure Amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.
He has also written the Senate to confirm appointments of the Secretary and Board members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Chairman, Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners for the Upstream Regulatory Commission; and Chairman, Chief Executive and Executive Directors for the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
In the letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, on PIA, the President, according to his spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said “having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Commission and the Authority, I would like to propose the following amendments:
A. Appointment of Non-Executive Board Members
B. Removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the Board of the two institutions
C. Appointment of Executive Directors.
Under A, President Buhari observed that PIA 2021 provided for the appointment of two non-executive members for the board of the two regulatory institutions, but he is of the view that the membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country.
“I, therefore, pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity,” he added, noting that if the amendment is approved, it will increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six: one person from each of the geopolitical zones of the country.
Under B, President Buhari opined that the proposed amendment will increase the membership of the Board from 9 to 13, and strengthen the institutions and guarantee national spread, and also achieve the expected policy contributions.
He observed that the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance already have supervision or inter-governmental relations, and can continue to perform such roles without being in the Board.
On C, which is appointment of Executive Directors, President Buhari noted the need to exempt serving public officers from the established confirmation process for political appointments, adding that it will ensure effective management of the regulatory institutions through uniform implementation of public service rules for employees of the Authority.
He stressed that the proposed amendments to the PIA 2021 is strictly about the structure, aimed at ensuring smooth take-off and consequent growth of the two institutions.
In letters on the boards of EFCC and others, the President said he was acting in accordance with the provisions of the different laws governing the establishments.
Nominees for the EFCC Board are; George Abang Ekpungu, Secretary of the Commission (Cross River); Lukman Muhammed, (Edo), Anumba Adaeze (Enugu), Alhaji Kola Raheem Adesina (Kwara), and Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad (Yobe).
For the upstream Regulatory Commission, Isa Ibrahim Modibbo is nominated as Chairman; Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive; Hassan Gambo, Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts; and Ms Rose C. Ndong, Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.
Chairman nominee of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority is Idaere Gogo Ogan; Engr. Sarki Auwalu, Chief Executive; Abiodun A. Adeniji, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts; and Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distributions Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure.
President Buhari urged the Senate to consider and confirm the nominees in an expeditious manner.