On Monday, there was palpable excitement when news broke that President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the PetroleumIndustryBill into law. In so doing, he broke the jinx that had prevented the enactment of the oil industry legislation for 13 years.
However, Buhari, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, cannot afford to rest on his oars, as he would now have to contend with the difficult task of implementing the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021. Some key tasks include the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, transfer of personnel to the two new industry regulators, and appointment of executive personnel to run them.
A bigger task is the corporatization of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, into a limited liability company, determination of the assets and liabilities that will be assigned to the new NNPC Limited, and how to dispose of the stranded assets and liabilities that will not be absorbed by the emerging entity.
Gbite Adenij discusses the key highlights of the PIA and the onerous task of implementing the new legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the oil and gas sector. Mr. Adeniji is an energy lawyer and Managing Partner at the law firm, ENR Advisory.
He also served as Technical Adviser to the former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.