The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has underscored the need for effective regulations in harnessing the gains of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) for global relevance.
Sylva said for Nigeria to continue to be relevant at the global stage, it should design regulations that could balance the energy base load for Nigeria.
Sylva said this while declaring open a stakeholders’ consultation forum on draft regulations under the PIA on Wednesday in Abuja.
It should be recalled that the draft regulations were prepared by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) in conjunction with the Presidential Steering Committee on the PIA.
The premier consultative forum was aimed at ensuring inputs and considerations of oil and gas stakeholders on the draft regulations for smooth implementation of the PIA.
The regulations include: host communities’ development: Petroleum royalty: Upstream fees and rent: Domestic gas delivery obligations: Nigeria conversation; and licencing regulations.
Sylva said effective regulations would ensure that Nigeria is not left behind in the energy transition train while still harnessing its rich natural hydrocarbon reserves.
The minister expressed hope that the input from various stakeholders would further clarify the draft regulations and eventual firming up of the final regulations for use.
According to the minister, government has a mandate of ensuring sound management of the oil and gas sector considering the key role the sector plays in revenue generation for the country.
He said it was on this background that the Presidential Steering Committee on PIA, which he chaired, played the pivotal role in collaborating with NUPRC in drafting the first set of regulations for review.
He commended the effort of the commission in the preparation of those draft regulations to beat the deadline set by the law for the commencement of the implementation of the PIA.
“I am hopeful that the regulations when fully implemented will help in no small measure in the smooth take-off of the day-to-day operations of the NUPRC,’’ he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the PIA in August, 2021 after the National Assembly passed the bill.
Sylva said that the eventual assent signaled a new era and opportunities in the oil and gas sector of the economy after almost two decades of unsuccessful efforts to have the law passed in Nigeria.
The minister, while decrying challenges posed by huge divestments in the hydrocarbon explorations by oil majors in the past due to global energy transition, called for more innovative ways in fossil fuel exploitation and exploration in Nigeria.
In a remark, Mr Gbenga Komolafe, Commission Chief Executive, NUPRC said the forum was expected to discuss and finalise the draft Regulations in line with Section 216 of the PIA 2021.
Komolafe said, besides the statutory imperative on the part of the commission to have the regulations finalised on time, there was also the compelling need for the nation to conclude the regulations-making process for PIA implementation.