Sunday, June 11, 2023


The Policy Advisory Council under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has put forth a proposal to sell the majority stakes of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry. This sale is expected to generate approximately $17 billion for the federal government. Alongside Woye and two others, the council suggests consolidating regulatory agencies by merging the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) under a single regulator.

The council, consisting of prominent members including Austin Avuru, Olu Verheijen, AbdulRasaq Isa, Bashir Bello, Ifeanyi Ajuluchukwu, Doyin Akinyanju, Tinuade Sande, Ahmad Zakari, George Etomi, Nasiru Wada, Mohammed Abbas, and Segun Lawson, advises the Tinubu administration to work towards achieving specific milestones within the first 100 days, concluding in August 2023. They recommend reorganizing NUPRC and NMDPRA to effectively deliver on these goals and recruiting capable individuals to critical positions in the oil and gas sector.

Furthermore, the council suggests that competent and reform-focused leaders be appointed to the NNPC, ensuring its function as a commercial entity in line with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA). They emphasize the need to strengthen the NNPC, enabling it to contribute taxes, royalties, and profits to the Federation Account while being appropriately regulated by NUPRC, NMDPRA, and NCDMB.

Additionally, the council proposes the deregulation of petrol pricing and the implementation of the Federal Direct Cash Transfer Programme, which would distribute $8 billion in direct cash transfers to the poorest 30 million Nigerians. They advise President Tinubu to address insecurity in oil-producing states, particularly Imo, Delta, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, and Akwa-Ibom, by engaging key political and community stakeholders.

To address deficiencies, the council calls for the reform of the military task force's operations, establishing clear key performance indicators (KPIs) and effective management. In terms of financing in the oil and gas sector, they suggest implementing a debt repayment framework and transitioning to market prices for gas. They stress the importance of robust policies that unlock Nigeria's energy potential, fuel economic growth, diversify the economy, and enhance energy security sustainably.

The council proposes raising Nigeria's oil and gas production to 1.8 million barrels per day (Mbpd) and 3.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) within the next 18 months, by December 2024. It urges President Tinubu to mandate NNPCL, NUPRC, and NMDPRA to resolve outstanding divestments and contract issues for clear project delivery. Furthermore, the council recommends stripping NNPCL of policy-making roles and ensuring that NCDMB operates within its mandate as outlined by the Local Content Act. They advise considering the integration of NUPRC, NMDPRA, and NCDMB into a single regulator or expanding NUPRC's scope to include all midstream activities.

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