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Experts divided over NNPC board as Buhari writes Senate to amend PIA

Barely one month after assenting to the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari is asking the Senate to amend the act that was passed by the National Assembly on July 1.

The PIA is expected to grow investors’ confidence in the sector and create more employment opportunities for residents in host communities.

The President’s fresh request was contained in a letter dated September 16, and read during plenary, yesterday, by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

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Buhari, in the letter, explained that the appointment of two non-executive members as provided for by the Act to the board of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and Upstream Regulatory Commission (URC) does not reflect balanced geopolitical representation.

According to him, “doing so would foster national unity and “provide a sense of participation and inclusion to almost every section of the country in the decision making of strategic institutions such as the oil industry.”

In addition, the President proposed a deletion of Sections 11(2)(f), 11(2)(g), 34(2)(f) and 34(2)(g) from the Petroleum Industry Act, which would see to the removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the Board of the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Authority and Upstream Regulatory Commission.

He explained that, “the two ministries already have constitutional responsibilities of either supervision or inter-governmental relations. They can continue to perform such roles without being in the board.”

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