Barring any last minute changes, President Muhammadu Buhari through a letter to the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has appointed the heads of the two regulatory agencies that were created following the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act.
The letter from the President is expected to be read on the floor of the Senate today.
The Act which was signed into law last month by the President saw the creation of a new Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission, that will assume most of the upstream regulatory functions of the Department of Petroluem Resources, thereby becoming a key regulator.
The PIA also provides for the establishment of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) to oversee the regulation of the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in the country
Following the institutional changes as a result of the PIA, THE WHISTLER can authoritatively report that the President has nominated Mr. Gbenga Komolafe as the Chief Executive Officer of the Upstream Regulatory Commission.
As Chief Executive of Commission, Komolafe is to serve for a period of five years. The position is also renewable once for another five years according to the Act.
Also, as a fallout of the PIA implementation, the President has approved the appointment of Mr. Sarki Auwalu as the Chief Executive Officer for the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.
If confirmed, Auwalu who is the current Director/Chief Executive Officer of the DPR, would serve as Chief Executive Officer of the Authority for five years.
The position is also renewable once for another 5 years.
The PIA requires the confirmation of the Senate for the position of the Heads of the Authority and the Commission.
The Commission that would be headed by Komolafe will be involved in granting of new licences and the approval of assignments of licence interests.
The PIA also provides for the establishment of the Commission to oversee the regulation of upstream petroleum operations in the country.
As Chief Executive, THE WHISTLER can report that Komolafe will be supported by six Executive Commissioners to handle the day-to- day administration of the Commission.
The Commission will also take over the current functions of the Department for Petroleum Resources (DPR), with respect to the regulation of technical, operational, commercial and environmental activities associated with upstream petroleum operations.
For the Authority, the PIA provides that it would regulate the midstream and downstream petroleum operations in the country.
As Chief Executive, Auwalu will be supported by seven Executive Directors to handle the day-to-day administration of the Authority.
The Authority will take over the current functions of the DPR, with respect to the regulation of technical and commercial activities in the downstream and midstream petroleum operations.
Furthermore, the Authority will be saddled with the responsibilities of providing pricing and tariff frameworks for natural gas in midstream and downstream gas operation.
It will also provide pricing Tarrif for petroleum products based on fair market basis, thus, absorbing the current responsibilities and functions of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency.
These appointments are coming just three days after the President in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and named Ifeanyi Ararume and Mele Kyari as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer respectively.