Buhari (file photo)
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, may have yielded to pressure from critics condemning the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, and has therefore appealed to the Senate to amend it.
He made the request in a letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
In the letter dated September 16, President Buhari explained that his proposal became necessary having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.
He listed the three areas of the Act he sought to be amended to include the appointment of non-executive board members, removal of the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Finance from the boards of the two institutions, as well as the appointment of executive directors.
While the PIA provides for the appointment of two non-executive board members, President Buhari is seeking an expansion of the membership.
“I am of the view that this membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country,” he said in the letter to the lawmakers.
“I, therefore, 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 approved, the President is hopeful that the amendment will increase the number of non-executive board members from two to six – ensuring that each region has a representation.
Parts of the Act highlighted by the President for amendment are Section 11(2)(b), Section 34(2)(b), Section 11(2)(f), Section 11(2)(g), and Section 34(2)(g), among others.
He, however, asked the Senate to confirm the appointment of Isa Modibbo as Chairman of the Upstream Regulatory Commission, and Gbenga Komolafe as its Chief Executive.
The lawmakers were also asked to confirm Hassan Gambo and Rose Ndong as the Executive Commissioners of Finance and Accounts, as well as Exploration and Acreage Management respectively.