Professor Iledare calls for restructuring of Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support PIA implementation
Professor Wumi Iledare, a renowned Professor of Petroleum Economics and Policy Research, has called for the restructuring of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to ensure that it can effectively carry out its responsibilities as outlined in the Petroleum Industry Act (2021). This comes as President Bola Tinubu finalizes the selection of his cabinet members to lead his government.
According to him, the policy inconsistency and inefficiency of the Ministry have been a weak link between the institution and the implementation of the new industry act.
He suggested that the ministry needs to be reconfigured, restructured, and rebounded to support the PIA demands policy sustainability beyond a one-term minister in the office.
In addition, Professor Iledare emphasized that the industry expertise, capacity, and competence of the next Minister of Petroleum Resources which is to be appointed by President Tinubu is fundamental to the functionality of the PIA.
He encouraged President Tinubu to be committed to appointing a “round peg in a round hole” for the position of Minister of Petroleum Resources.
He noted that such a person to be made Minister of the Petroleum Resources must be highly qualified and capable of effectively managing the country’s oil industry.
Furthermore, he stated that the PIA requires the experience of a Minister to coordinate the duties of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) established by the provisions of the PIA.
He humbly suggested a triple helix plus approach to the appointment of board members to PIA institutions for effective governance.
This according to him will add value to those institutions rather than political expediency approach often adopted to board appointments.
Professor Iledare also suggested the creation of a policy directorate in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with permanent professional staff is worth considering for continuity even if the head is a political appointee.
This directorate can be saddled with the resposibility of acting as designated as the primary institution to initiate, create, and implement the petroleum policy governing the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
He stated that the petroleum industry in Nigeria needed to be restructured in such a manner that facilitate the use the petroleum industry, which accounts for a significant portion of Nigeria’s GDP, to propel the country’s national economy to a GDP level comparable to the top 20 largest economies worldwide.
Professor further proposed that the new Nigerian government should take steps to ensure that the country is represented in BRINC, which is a group of emerging economies that includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
According to him, the petroleum industry can be used to reclaim Nigeria’s position in BRINC and take advantage of the opportunities that come with being part of this group of emerging economies.
Iledare further hinted that this could enable the country to position itself as a key player in the global economy and attract more investment and business opportunities.
Professor Wumi Iledare has called for properly restructure of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources to deliver its functional responsibilities under the provision of the Petroleum Industry Act(2021), stating that the policy inconsistent and inefficiency of the Ministry has been a weak link within the institution and implementation of the new industry act.
Professor Iledare made this known in a conversation with EnergyDay on general issues affecting the Nigerian Petroleum Industry and direction that the new administration of President Bola Tinubu must do to avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors especially on the optimal utilsation of the country’s petroleum resources for the development of durable infrastructure and human capital that benefit and advance society for generations to come.
According to him, Nigeria’s economic growth has been underpinned by lack due to policy issues which have made it quite impossible for the country to optimally benefit from its hydrocarbon and resources based potentials.
He said that the responsibilities of the Ministry of Petroleum resources in the implementation of the PIA, are fundamental to the ability of all stakeholders in the petroleum industry and the citizens of the country to maximize the economic wealth derived from petroleum resources which have been produced and other remaining reserves in Nigeria