Nigerian petroleum agency begins regulatory preview

Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) on Monday commenced the review of the midstream and downstream petroleum regulations.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said the regulations had been shared with stakeholders for review and input.

Mr Sylva spoke on the new regulations being considered at a stakeholders’ consultation forum organized by the NMDPRA in Abuja on Monday.

He noted that they will provide clarity for the operators and attract investments to the mid and downstream sectors.

“We are now at the point of engagement and interaction with a view to issuing regulations that would benefit all stakeholders,” Mr Sylva said.

He said the authority is a creation of the PIA 2021 saddled with the responsibility of technically and commercially regulating both the mid and downstream operations of the Nigeria oil and gas industry.

He noted that the review was in fulfilment of the provisions of Sections 33 and 216 of the PIA 2021.

“We are gathered here today in fulfilment of the provision of sections 33 and 216 of the PIA 2021 which mandate the authority to consult with relevant stakeholders prior to finalizing and making any resolution concerning the process of refining, transmission, distribution, supply, sell and storage of petroleum products or any other matters by the authority as related to the activity of mid and downstream petroleum operations.

“This administration understands the need to have an all-encompassing, well thought out and unambiguous regulatory instrument that is painstakingly developed to meet present and future aspirations of the government.

“This is required to attract much-needed investments and create opportunities in the sector. Hence the need for stakeholders’ participation and engagement in developing the regulations, processes and procedures,” he said.

While noting that the current state of Nigeria’s local energy landscape is dire and in need of ingenious solutions, the minister said that the nation has an opportunity to ameliorate the situation through these regulations.

He said: “I am privy to the overall intent of these regulations, which are to provide clarity and certainty for investors, promote and build investor confidence, increase and improve foreign and indigenous participation in these sectors, and optimize value for all our stakeholders.

“These will culminate into enablement of businesses, growth of the industry and creation of myriads of opportunities for Nigerians.”

Also speaking, the authority’s Chief Executive, Farouk Ahmed, explained that the consultation was in line with the mandate of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA 2021 which ordered that stakeholders must be consulted before any regulations are made.

The new regulations address issues like petroleum transportation and shipment, licenses and permits, gas pricing for the domestic market, gas pipeline tariff, the environment, as well as the gas infrastructure fund amongst others.

Mr Ahmed explained that these regulations are integral to the operationalisation of the PIA and require collective commitment over the next few days.

He noted that stakeholders have resolved to facilitate policies that will enable investment and ease of doing business, create employment opportunities for Nigerians and prevent undue burdens on partners.

“Accordingly, our priority will be to ensure these regulations are primary enablers of the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative and will help catalyse investment and enhance the attractiveness of the domestic gas value chain.

“We are also conscious of the fact that effective regulations must, amongst many outcomes, ensure fairness, equity, transparency, and certainty for all players in the regulatory space.

“It is, therefore, necessary that we give undivided attention to this process, as the success and quality of our deliberations would significantly determine how our Industry evolves in the near future. Our collective actions have a direct impact in unlocking the main energy provision sector of the Nigerian economy.

“We, therefore, implore you to approach this task with utmost responsibility and patriotism,” he said. (Premium Times)


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