The Federal Government, yesterday, officially scrapped the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
Following the passage and implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), the Upstream Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) are to perform the duties of the three defunct agencies.
The move also includes the official transition of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation into NNPC Limited to be governed by an extant company and allied matter regulation.
Speaking at the official transition in Abuja, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, as well as head of the upstream commission, Gbenga Komolafe and NPRA Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed, predicted improved investments to leapfrog the nation’s oil sector.
The stakeholders are also considering ways to engage oil companies amid divestment of portfolios, stressing that the country would drastically drive improvement in daily production and crude oil reserves.
Sylva said with the leadership of the new agencies in place, the heads of the old ones are now technically handing over to their successors.
His words: “Today’s (yesterday) event marks the beginning for the news agencies. Their assignment is simple – to make sure that the new agencies – take off immediately.
“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 the PIA was on for over 20 years.
“So a lot of companies, a lot of investors took a sit-down-and-watch approach. The PIA has clarified the legal framework around the sector and the agencies are in place. I don’t see anything now stopping investors from coming.
“And we are very lucky to have very competent industry people with proven experiences. So, we believe that they can hit the ground running and Nigerians should brace up for exponential growth in the oil and gas sector.”