By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria on Monday officially scrapped the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) as part of the implementation of the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
It also said while workers of the three agencies would be protected, their Chief Executives had been relieved of their various appointments and are required to hand over affairs of the agencies to the two regulatory agencies that were created under the PIA to regulate the Oil and Gas industry.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stated this while speaking on the side-lines of the inauguration of the Boards of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRAS) and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC) in Abuja.
Sylva explained that with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, the NPRA and NURC had taken over the functions of the DPR, PPPRA and PEF.
Mr. Gbenga Komolafe and Mr. Farouk Ahmed were innaugurated as Chief Executive Officers of the NURC and NPRA respectively.
The minister tasked the CEOs on the need for smooth take off of the agencies adding that “from the effective date of the PIA those agencies are in place but unfortunately there were no leadership so they could not take off but now there is nothing to wait for”.
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.”