The national assembly has opted for the creation of two regulatory agencies to oversee the oil and gas industry in the country.
The passed Petroleum Industry Bill recommended two regulatory agencies to be established – the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority; and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.
The bill explained that the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority will be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of midstream and downstream petroleum operations in the petroleum industry.
The Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission will be responsible for technical and commercial regulation of upstream petroleum operations.
Some stakeholders such as the Doyin Salami-led presidential economic advisory council (PEAC) had advocated for a single regulatory agency in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.
The PEAC, in its sixth regular meeting with Buhari, opposed a provision in the PIB that proposed two regulators for the industry.
The ministry of petroleum resources has the primary responsibility for policy direction and exercises supervisory oversight over the oil and gas industry.
Other regulatory bodies in the sector include the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
However, the council said that one regulator will be enough, explaining that it would be more efficient and allow for greater synergy in regulating the entire industry value-chain.
It cited the examples of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
Meanwhile, the national assembly heeded to the PEAC’s advice that the federal government should not hold 100 percent stake in NNPC, and it has now set in motion the process of fully commercialising the corporation.
The passage of PIB by both the house of representatives and senate is being harmonised before it is sent to the president for his assent.