The powers the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) conferred on the Minister of Petroleum Resources generated a lot of controversy under the last democratic dispensation. FG has extracted provisions of the Petroleum Industry Bill that deal with institutions, industry regulations and governance, and synthesized them into a separate bill known as the Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework (PIGIF) Bill. The PIGIF significantly reviews the powers of the petroleum minister. Below, Spaces for Change highlights the differences in the provisions of the two bills, particularly flagging the revisions to the minister’s powers in the latest proposed oil regime.

Subject Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework Bill (PIGIF) Observations in PIGIF
Minister’s coordinating and supervisory functions Minister of Petroleum Resources responsible for coordinating theactivities of the petroleum industry and exercising general supervision over ALLoperations and ALL institutions in the industry Minister of Petroleum Resources responsible for the determination, formulation and monitoring of government policy for the petroleum industry; and exercise general coordination over the affairs and operations of the petroleum industry Though worded differently, Minister of Petroleum Resources will carry out same roles and responsibilities.
 Minister’s power to grant, amend, revoke, renew and extend leases.  Upon the advice of the Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate (UPI), Minister of Petroleum Resources empowered grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke upstream petroleum licences and leases or upon the advice of the Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (DPRA), grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke downstream petroleum licences for gas transportation pipeline, gas distribution networks, refineries, LNG plants, petrochemical plants and gas exports Upon the recommendation of the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Minister of Petroleum Resources empowered to grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke petroleum exploration and production licenses and leases. PIGIF provides for only one regulatory body. The new regulator covers both upstream and downstream. DPR, PPPRA and Petroleum Inspectorate are all collapsed into the new regulator. In other words, downstream and upstream to be managed under same institution same as currently exist under DPR
Appointment of chief executives of regulatory agencies and commercial entities
Minister of Petroleum Resources advises the President on the appointments of the chief executives of the UPI, DPRA, National Oil Company, the Asset Management Corporation and any other Government agency or corporate entity Under PIGIF, Minister of Petroleum Resources has no distinct powers to advise on the appointment of executives of agencies That this advising role was not specifically mentioned in PIGIF does not mean that the Minister of Petroleum Resources cannot advise on the appointment of executives of agencies. Advising role is implicit in the Minister’s statutory functions.
 Right of access to inspect facilities Minister of Petroleum Resources has access at all times to areas or rights of way covered by existing licences, leases, permits and authorisations, offices orbuildings to inspect operations and access information available Although there is no parallel provision in PIGIF, the minister has the right of access as regulator as confirmed in Section 3(4) of the Bill which criminalizes failure to comply with a requisition made by the Minister. It is presumed that Minister, ministry, regulators and their agents must have access on request at all times to carry out regulatory role
Minister’s Rights of Preemption Any person who fails to comply with a requisition made by or on behalf of theMinister or fails toconform or to obey a direction issued by the Minister commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a finenot exceeding N2,500,000.00. Any person who fails to comply with a requisition made by or on behalf of the Minister or fails toconform or to obey a direction issued by the Minister commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N10,000,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both.See S. 3(4) of PIGIF Difference in penalties. PIGIF penalties include imprisonment or option to pay significantly higher fines
Penalties for interference or obstruction of Minister’s powers and duties  Obstruction or interference with the Minister, his servants or agents in the exercise of their powers amount to an offence and offenders are liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N5,000,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years, or to both. Obstruction or interference with the Minister, his servants or agents in the exercise of their powers amount to an offence and offenders are liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding N5,000,000.00 or to imprisonment  for a period not exceeding Six  months or to both. Difference in penalties: PIGIF penalties include 6 months imprisonment or option of fine while PIB penalty stipulates two years with option of fine
Appointment of the members of the Board of regulatory agencies The Board members of Inspectorate, DPRA and other agencies established under the Act are appointed by the President onthe recommendation of the Minister (S. 17 of the PIB) The appointment of members of the Board of the Commissionshall be made by the President subject to confirmation of theSenate.  The Senate will now confirm appointments made by the President. Minister’s power to recommend Board members is extinguished under the PIGIF.
Power to make regulations The Minister may, or on the advice of any of the agencies make regulations necessary (and conduct public inquiry) to give proper effect to the provisions of the Act. No such provisions under PIGIF
Power to delegate Minister may in writing delegate to any other person or institution any power or function except the power to make orders and regulations. The Minister may in writing delegate to any other person or institution. However, S. 84(3) of PIGIF repeals minster’s powers under Oil Pipelines Act Cap 7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria  2004. All references to “Minister” under the Oil Pipelines Act shall from the Effective Date be deemed to refer to the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission. The Commission shall accordingly exercise all the powers and functions of the Minister under the Oil Pipelines Act except delegating the powers to make regulations pursuant to the Oil PipelinesAct.
Host Communities Minister empowered to makeregulations on entitlement, governance and management structure with respectto the Petroleum Host Community Fund No mention of “host communities” anywhere in the PIGIF. The Petroleum Host Community Fund is excised from PIGIF, and may be addressed by a separate bill.

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Syl Your comment is awaiting moderation. I do have a solutions for the GMD NNPC Mr Ibe Kachwuku in reference to Oil thefts and pipeline vandalism. The same solution has been implemented in Angola with a 97% Oil thefts reduction. What can I apply same.method to my country Nigeria. Just to have an appointment with the GMD to showcase what can be done, we were met with “what is in for us”,and we are talking about change here and they are asking bribe from us just to have a meeting with the GMD. I am using this media if possible… Read more »