By Haruna Salami
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB will not scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
The Minister stated this while fielding questions from newsmen at the Senate wing of the National Assembly Monday after an interactive session with the leadership of NASS, adding “the bill seeks for commercialisation and not scrapping of NNPC”.
“We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped, but that is not envisaged by the Bill at all.
“NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialised in line with deregulation move being made across all the streams in the sector comprising of upstream , downstream and midstream .
“We have said that NNPC will be commercialized, but If you are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing that we are introducing is the development of the midstream, that is the pipeline sector .
“So we have provided robustly for the growth of the midstream sector.
“Through commercialisation , the required competitiveness in the sector will be achieved ” adding that the host communities will also have the best deal from the bill .
According to him , through the PIB the industry will be transformed and the Petroleum Equalization Fund, PEF and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA will not exist in the same form that they exist today.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the National Assembly has expressed its determination to break the jinx associated with the bill by ensuring passage by the 9th Assembly.
This was disclosed by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila at a crucial meeting of the leadership of the National Assembly with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Silva, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari and some other top officials in the Petroleum sector.
The meeting was essentially to brief the National Assembly leaders on the focus of the PIB which the Senate President confirmed was forwarded to the Assembly about two weeks ago.
The bill has not been read at the floor of either of the two Chambers of the National Assembly because the federal Lawmakers are currently on recess but will resume session on Tuesday.