By Akpobor Jirue, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate to confirm board members of the two agencies empowered to regulate the Nigerian Petroleum Industry in accordance with the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The President is seeking the approval of the National Assembly for the appointments of the
chairman, chief executive and executive commissioners for the Upstream Regulatory Commission; and chairman, chief executive and executive directors for the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
In letters to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said he was acting in accordance with the provisions of the law governing the PIA.
Those nominated for Board of the Upstream Regulatory Commission, include Isa Ibrahim Modibbo, as Chairman; Engr. Gbenga Komolafe, Chief Executive; Hassan Gambo, Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts; and Ms Rose C. Ndong, Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.
Chairman nominee of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority is Idaere Gogo Ogan; Engr. Sarki Auwalu, Chief Executive; Abiodun A. Adeniji, Executive Director, Finance and Accounts; and Ogbugo Ukoha, Executive Director, Distributions Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure.
President Buhari urged the Senate to expeditiously consider and confirm the nominees.
Similarly, the President also asked the National Assembly to amend the administrative structure of PIA.
Buhari in a separate letter sent to the Senate on Tuesday said “having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Commission and the Authority, I would like to propose the following amendments:
Appointment of Non-Executive Board Members; Removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the Board of the two institutions; Appointment of Executive Directors.
He said he observed that PIA 2021 provided for the appointments of two non-executive members for the Board of the two regulatory institutions, but of the view that the membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country.
“I, therefore, pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity,” he added, noting that if the amendment is approved, it will increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six: one person from each of the geopolitical zones of the country.
President Buhari also opined that the proposed amendment will increase the memberships of the Board from 9 to 13, and strengthen the institutions , as well as guarantee national spread to achieve the expected policy formulation .
He observed that the Ministers of Petroleum and Finance already have supervisory or inter-governmental relations, and can continue to perform such roles without being in the Board.
On the appointments of executive directors, President Buhari noted the need to exempt serving public officials from the established confirmation process for political appointments, adding that it will ensure effective management of the regulatory institutions through uniform implementation of public service rules for employees of the Authority.
He stressed that the proposed amendments to the PIA 2021 is strictly about the structure, aimed at ensuring smooth take-off and consequent growth of the two institutions.