By Edith Ike-Eboh
The Federal Government has inaugurated the Steering Committee for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act ( PIA) and charged them to ensure effective implementation of the act.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, at the inauguration on Thursday in Abuja, said the Act would ensure desired development for the country.
“To get to this desired end, deliberate effort must be made to implement the law in a manner that best achieves the stated objectives in line with the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians whose lives will be impacted by the consequences of our decisions and actions,’’ Sylva said .
He said that the implementation framework had been designed with the governance structure approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sylva noted that the structure was made up of the Steering Committee and the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat.
He said the terms of reference of the Steering Committee as approved by the president include to guide the effective and timely implementation of the law in the course of transition to the new petroleum industry envisaged in the reform programme.
“To approve or ratify the appointment s of consultants who will support the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat; to approve all recommendations for the institutional design and personnel movements as envisaged by the Law.
“To coordinate timely preparation of appropriate model licences, leases and regulations including reviews and endorsements for presidential approval; to approve all recommendations of actions or outcomes required to implement any provision of the law.
“And to do all such things as may be necessary and appropriate to give effect to and implement any provision of the law as approved by Mr President,’’ he said.
He noted that the members of the Steering Committee include Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources as Chairman, Dr Soni Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Petroleum Resources and Malam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Others are Muhammad Nomi, Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Services, Dr Nuhu Habib, Senior Special Assistant to President on Natural Resources, representative of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Others are representative of the Ministry of Justice, Mr Olufemi Lijadu, External Legal Adviser and Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau, Executive Secretary, PTDF – Head of the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat.
“ The Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat has the onerous task of developing the briefs that would be presented to the Steering Committee for consideration and approval.
“ These briefs will cover all the relevant subject matters contemplated by the law, including the design of the institutions, personnel movements, development of procedures and processes for the institutions, model contracts and Regulations and generally providing legal advice on implementation matters.
“To ensure that the Steering Committee is in the position to get quality briefs from the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat, the latter has been organised into four workstreams,’’ Slyva said.
The four work streams are legal, coordination & planning, communications and dtakeholder management, administration and finance.
He noted that each of these workstreams have distinct mandates and expected outcomes which would be presented to the Steering Committee for consideration and possible approval.
“Given the timeline set by Mr President and the urgency of the implementation requirement, there is no gain saying the fact that total commitment to this assignment is a critical success factor.
“ Undoubtedly, members of the Steering Committee possess the capacity to contribute to the transformation of the petroleum industry, and unlock the potential that are replete in the entire value chain.
“Nigerians and our foreign stakeholders are watching and waiting and we cannot afford to let them or ourselves down.
“We must do all that it takes to deliver on this assignment in a manner that best achieves our collective vision for bringing the anticipated gains to the country, he said.
“To get us started on this all-important assignment, I hereby inaugurate the Steering Committee, as well as the Implementation Working Group/Coordinating Secretariat.
“I wish us all success in our collective quest to change the face of the Nigerian petroleum industry, to position it as a proactive catalyst for spurring sustainable economic growth of our beloved country,’’ he said. (NAN)