From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, on Monday said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) are now technically dead in line with the dictates of the recently-signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) that created new agencies to absorb them.
He made the disclosure while inaugurating the Chief Executives of the new agencies in Abuja
According to him, staff rationalisation and realignment were underway as the new agencies are to run as efficiently as possible to deliver on their mandate.
The new agencies are the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Downstream and Midstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, which were created by the PIA to regulate the oil and gas industry.
Arising from that, the CEOs of the former agencies have now been relieved of their appointments since they were political appointees.
While their respective office buildings still bear their old names, the agencies will eventually wear their new names after undergoing rebranding in the near future.
On the event of the day, the Minister described the inauguration as historic as it marks the beginning of the successor agencies.
He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the CEOs few weeks ago and they went through a rigorous process of confirmation at the National Assembly.
“After that, their appointment letters have been issued by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation and therefore, they have actually taken up the agencies. The agencies now have clear leadership and, of course, today’s event marks that beginning for the new agencies.
“I am really expecting a lot of growth and development in the oil industry. The oil industry has been stagnated for a long time because the process of passing PIA has been very arduous. For over 20 years, we’ve been in that process. So, a lot of companies, a lot of investors took a seat and watched the approach today. The PIA has clarified the framework, the legal framework around the sector, and the agencies are in place. I don’t see anything now stopping investors from coming in. And we are very lucky to have very competent industry people with very proven experience. So, we believe that the guys can hit the ground running. Nigeria should brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas sector”, Sylva stated.
The new helmsmen pledged to begin urgent industry reforms needed to unlock the wealth of the sector which has been perennially detained by archaic laws that deterred offshore investors.
The appointment letters of the new CEOs came barely a week after the Senate approved their nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.