Why Buhari Wants Senate to Ammend Controversial PIA Act

President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate asking the upper legislative chamber to amend certain provisions of the controversial Petroleum Industry Act.

However, the new amendments proposed by the President did not address the concerns of the South-South stakeholders who had kicked against the equity share of host communities at 3 percent from 5 percent.

Buhari
Buhari

Instead, Buhari’s fresh request centred basically on the need to review the administrative structure of the Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

The President is seeking the senators’ approval to increase the numbers of the non-executive board members of each of the regulatory agencies from two to six, in order to capture the six geopolitical zones. Many believe this will further wet the hands of more people and make it increasingly possible to spend more on officers.

The letter partly reads, “The Petroleum Industry Act 2021 provided for the appointment of two non-executive members for the board of the two regulatory institutions.

“I am of the view that this membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the Country.

“Therefore, I pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity.

“Needless to add that this amendment will provide a sense of participation and inclusion to almost every section of the Country in the decision making of strategic institutions such as the oil industry.

“if this amendment is approved, it will now increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six that is one person from each of the six geopolitical zones of the Country”

The President also removed the Ministers of Finance and Petroleum Resources from the board of the two agencies.

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