PIB: PGF commends Buhari, pledges support to process of transition

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has pledged its commitment to support the process of transition to the new era of oil and gas operational and management as provided by the new Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

The Chairman, PGF, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in a statement noted that the coming into law of the new Petroleum Industry Act, once more shows that APC under the leadership of President Buhari has demonstrated unwavering commitment to change Nigeria democratically.

He pointed out that after more than two decades of endless national debates and stalemate, there is today a new Petroleum Industry Act in the country, which has provided six months transition for the emergence of new institutional framework for the operations of oil and gas industry in the country.

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Bagudu commended Mr. President for this historic feat of moving the nation forward to a new democratic era of governance and business management of the oil and gas industry.

According to him, with Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) now unbundled, and in its place three new structures – Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited – stronger accountability structures, each with a Board drawing representation from stakeholders in the oil and gas industry is instituted.

He therefore pledged the commitment of the Forum to support the process of translation to the new era of oil and gas in Nigeria.

He said,”Even critics of our party, APC, and our governments cannot ignore the fact that the coming into law of the Petroleum Industry Act is an important democratic milestone.

“It signposts the commitment of our party and our government to develop the oil and gas sector and resolve all the challenges associated with the operations of the sector. With the new Act, there should be remarkable improvement in revenue collection from the oil and gas sector.

“This is expectedly the Next Level governance initiatives our party has promised Nigerians during the 2019 campaigns.The PGF congratulates Mr. President for achieving this important milestone.

“We pledge our commitment to support the process of transition to the new era of oil and gas operational and management as provided by the new Petroleum Industry Act 2021.

“We remain committed to a democratic process of negotiating the reform of our Republic to make it more responsive to the needs of Nigerians.”

Bagudu stressed that the monopoly status of the old NNPC, which vested it with both the powers of regulating the industry as well as extraction and sales of crude oil in both the upstream, midstream and downstream has been abolished, adding that with the new Act, the task of regulation is vested in the two regulatory bodies created by the law.

“While extraction and sales of crude will now be undertaken by both the new Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and other private companies in both the upstream, midstream and downstream, in line with regulatory standards respectively provided by the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority created by the Act.

“In addition, the Act also created a Host Communities Development Trust to be managed by Board of Trustees. As provided by the Act, 3% of profit from the operations of oil and gas businesses will be used for the development of the host communities,” he stated.

Bagudu disclosed that the Forum is confident that the ongoing process of Constitutional Amendment in the National Assembly, will produce more reforms of the structures of the Nigerian economy.

He assured that the PGF would continue to collaborate with the National Assembly and the Federal Government to mobilise public understanding to accelerate the process of change in the country.

He further congratulated President Buhari, Senator Ahmed Lawan, Senate President, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, members of the National Assembly as well as public servants for providing the leadership to achieve this important landmark in Nigeria’s economic and political management of the oil and gas industry.

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