How will the new Petroleum Bill affect NNPC?

A new petroleum bill has been drafted to further enhance the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), pushing the organisation to function at maximum efficiency. According to this bill, the petroleum regulatory body will be split into two; the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Co (NPAM) and the National Oil Company (NOC). The NOC will be partly privatized, while NPAM will be responsible for assets “where the government is not obligated to provide any upfront funding.”

The petroleum draft bill was initially passed to the National Assembly in 2012, under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan however, it did not see the light of day as the lawmakers did not make a unanimous agreement. Also, in the 2012 bill, it was proposed that NNPC should be spilt into five independent sections which will be led by competent individuals with several years of experience in the oil industry.

The new bill titled “Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework Bill 2015” has not yet been passed into law, but, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and some stakeholders in the industry have expressed enthusiasm towards the draft. Analysts have also noted that this new bill, when passed into law, will enable reform in the NNPC and they have expressed hope that this unbundling will put checks on mismanagement and irresponsibility.

Also with the passage of the bill into law, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will merge with Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) to form the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) as a single entity which will oversee fuel prices, bids and everything in between.

If the new policies contained in the proposed bill are implemented correctly, then hopefully the NNPC can move forward as an efficient unit with well-defined roles.

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