Unlike the known practices, a draft bill aiming to ensure effective regulation and corporate governance in Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry will “strip” president of the power to allocate oil blocks. Rather, the said bill vests in yet-to-be established Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) power to allocate petroleum exploration and production leases and licences. Should the bill be passed soon, the power President Muhammadu Buhari loses as president over allocation of oil blocks, he gains as a presidential minister of petroleum.
Titled, “Petroleum industry governance and institutional framework bill 2015”, the bill purportedly vests in the president power to appoint members of NPRC board, while senate ratifies the appointment, and the petroleum minister the power to control the oil blocks under the recommendation of the commission. The bill, it is said, also in the state of war grants the minister “the right of pre-emption of all petroleum and petroleum products obtained, marketed or otherwise dealt with under any license or lease granted under this act or any other enactment.”. The NPRC purportedly will conduct rounds for petroleum exploration licenses, but its recommendation is subject to the approval of the minister, who grants licenses. The bill will effectively replace the PIB bill stuck in the National Assembly since 2012.
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