Petroleum Act: Sylva Charges Team to Transform Sector
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, has charged the Steering Committee to do a stellar job in the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The Minister gave this task to the team headed by him at the inauguration ceremony in Abuja following the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to form a panel with a directive to immediately commence the implementation of the PIA.
Speaking on Thursday, he said “To get us started on this all-important assignment, I hereby inaugurate the Steering Committee, as well as the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat, and wish us all success in our collective quest to change the face of the Nigerian petroleum industry, to position it as a proactive catalyst for spurring sustainable economic growth of our beloved country,” the minister told members of the committee.
“Given the timeline set by Mr President and the urgency of the implementation requirement, there is no gainsaying in the fact that total commitment to this assignment is a critical success factor.
“Undoubtedly, members of the steering committee possess the capacity to contribute to the transformation of the petroleum industry and unlock the potentials that are replete in the entire value chain.”
Mr Sylva urged members of the panel to live up to their responsibility, saying a lot was expected of them from Nigerians and foreign stakeholders.
He stressed the need to do all that it takes to deliver on the assignment, in a manner that best achieves the collective vision for bringing the anticipated gains to the country.
According to the Minister, the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat on the petroleum act has the onerous task of developing the briefs that will be presented to the committee for consideration and approval.
He explained that the briefs would cover all the relevant subject matters contemplated by the law, including the design of the institutions, personnel movements, development of procedures and processes for the institutions, model contracts and regulations, and generally providing legal advice on implementation matters.
Mr Sylva went on to reveal that the implementation working group/coordinating secretariat has been organised into four workstreams to position the committee to get quality briefs.
He listed the functionalities to include legal, coordination and planning, communications and stakeholder management, as well as administration and finance.
“Each of these workstreams has distinct mandates and expected outcomes which will be presented to the steering committee for consideration and possible approval,” the Minister said.
While approving the constitution of the committee, President Buhari had also directed that it has 12 months for the assignment.
He had decried that the lack of political will has hampered the growth of the industry, saying this has led to a loss of about $50 billion for the country in the last 10 years.
The members of the committee include – the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari; Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Muhammad Nami; President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Natural Resources, Dr Nuhu Habib.
Others include Mr Olufemi Lijadu – a lawyer – who will serve as the External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mr Bello Aliyu Gusau will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.
The other members include the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr Sani Gwarzo as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.