By Onome Amuge
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed his junior petroleum minister, Timipre Sylva to head a nine-member implementation steering committee for the enforcement of the country’s new Petroleum Industry Act for its oil and gas industry.
President Buhari also doubles as the substantive minister of petroleum resources, following the footsteps of former president Olusegun Obasanjo, like Buhari, a former military head of state, and who chose to keep the ministry directly under his purview.
Other members of the committee include, Bello Gusau, executive secretary, Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), to serve as head of the coordinating secretariat and the implementation working group; Olufemi Lijadu,senior special assistant to the president on natural resources, as external legal adviser; Nasir Sani Gwarzo, permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources; Mele Kyari, group managing director, NNPC; Muhammed Nami, executive chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS); representative of the ministry of justice; and representative of the ministry of finance, budget and national planning.
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Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, made the disclosure in a statement released on Wednesday.
Adesina noted that the primary responsibility of the steering committee is to guide the effective and timely implementation of the PIA in the course of transition to the petroleum industry envisaged in the reform programme. He also assured that the newly established institutions would have the full capability to deliver on their mandate under the new legislation.
The statement further stressed that the committee has a 12-month duration for the assignment, while periodic reports will be directed to the president regarding its activities.
It will be recalled that the president signed the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law on Monday, August 16. The law is expected to direct the deregulation of the petroleum sector, provide for the establishment of a new national oil company among other developments in the petroleum sector.