President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a steering committee, chaired by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to immediately commence the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
President Buhari gave the approval during a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly led by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to the President, the committee has 12 months duration for the assignment.
Buhari said all relevant ministries, departments, agencies have been tasked to work with Sylva towards the successful completion of the implementation process.
A statement earlier released by the President’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, disclosed that “the primary responsibility of the steering committee shall be to guide the effective and timely implementation of the PIA in the course of transition to the petroleum industry envisaged in the reform programme, and ensure that the new institutions created have the full capability to deliver on their mandate under the new legislation.”
Buhari, who decried that the lack of political will has hampered the growth of the oil and gas industry, revealed that the country has lost about $50 billion in the last 10 years. He says he is however hopeful that the new Act will coordinate the activities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and reposition it for further progress.
Other members of the steering committee include: Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), as well as representatives of the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Natural Resources, Olufemi Lijadu, is the External Legal Adviser, while the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) will serve as Head of the Coordinating Secretariat and the Implementation Working Group.