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Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Petroleum Industry Bill Strips President Of Discretionary Power To Allocate Oil Blocks

The new draft of the controversial petroleum industry bill (PIB) strips the president of the discretionary powers to allocate oil blocks...

The bill now confers the power to allocate petroleum exploration and production leases and licences to the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) which shall be established under the act.

The final draft of the new bill, “Petroleum industry governance and institutional framework bill 2015”, available to TheCable, which was concluded on December 2, 2015, limits the power of the president to appoint members of the board of the regulatory commission.

The bill aims to promote transparency and accountability in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria, while creating a conducive business environment for petroleum industry operations.

The new draft, which mentions the senate only twice, says the upper chamber would be responsible for the ratification of governing board members appointed by the president.

“The appointment  to  the  board  in  respect  of  persons  appointed  pursuant  to paragraphs (a) to (d) of this section shall be made by the President subject to confirmation of the senate,” the bill reads.

“The chairman and non-executive commissioner shall be persons of high integrity and substantial professional experience; in appointing the chairman and the non-executive commissioner, the president shall have due regard to a fair representation of the technical, legal and commercial interest.”

The initial PIB, which has been stuck in the national assembly for nearly a decade, conferred discretionary powers on the president to allocate oil blocks in addition to competitive open bidding.

As recently as 2012, the PIB presented before the national assembly said “notwithstanding the provisions of the subsection (3) of section 190 or any other provision of this act, the President shall have the power to grant a license or lease under the act”.

culled from the cable news.

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