The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has inaugurated the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission; and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
The inauguration of the two regulatory agencies followed the operationalization of the Petroleum Industry which was passed by the National Assembly and assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in August.
The inauguration, which was held at the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, signals the end of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF).
The inauguration was attended by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources Dr Nasir Sani-Gwarzo; the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Mr Gbenga Komolafe; and the CEO of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk Ahmed.
The move heralds the start of new regulatory reforms as encapsulated in the Petroluem Industry Act.
The Act also signals the transformation of the roles of the Department of Petroluem Resources, the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund into that of the two newly created agencies.
As part of measures to implement the new oil and gas legislation, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had issued letters of appointments to the management team of Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission; and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
The appointment letters, issued by Mustapha, is coming barely a week after the Senate had approved their nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had in his letter to the Senate asked the Senate to confirm for the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority Idaere Ogan (Chairman); Farouk Ahmed (Chief Executive); Abiodun Adeniji (Executive Director, Finance and Accounts); and Ogbugo Ukoha (Executive Director, Distributions Systems, Storage and Retail Infrastructure).
For the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, those confirmed by the Senate are Isa Modibo (Chairman); Gbenga Komolafe (Chief Executive); Hassan Gambo (Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts); and Rose Ndong (Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management).
Until his new appointment as CEO of the Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, Farouk was a former Executive Secretary of the PPPRA.
The PIA provides that the Authority would regulate the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in the country.
Farouk will be supported by seven Executive Directors to handle the day-to-day administration of the Authority.
The Authority will take over the current functions of the DPR, with respect to the regulation of technical and commercial activities in the downstream and midstream petroleum operations.
Furthermore, the Authority will be saddled with the responsibilities of providing pricing and tariff frameworks for natural gas in midstream and downstream gas operation.
It will also provide pricing Tarrif for petroleum products based on fair market basis, thus, absorbing the current responsibilities and functions of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.
For Komolafe, he would, as the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, serve for a period of five years.
The position is also renewable once for another five years according to the Act.
The Commission will take over the current functions of the DPR, with respect to the regulation of technical, operational, commercial and environmental activities associated with upstream petroleum operations.