Why Buhari asked National Assembly to amend PIA 2021 – Presidency

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The presidency has revealed why President Muhammadu Buhari asked the National Assembly to amend the  Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 barely two months after he signed it into law.

Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement on Tuesday, in Abuja said the President asked for the amendments of administrative structure recommended under the new oil industry  to address the issue of balanced geopolitical representation of the country among others.

In the letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the president said:

“Having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Commission and the Authority, I would like to propose the following amendments:

A. Appointment of Non-Executive Board Members

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B. Removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the Board of the two institutions

C. Appointment of Executive Directors.’’

Adesina stated that Under A, President Buhari observed that PIA 2021 provided for the appointment of two non-executive members for the board of the two regulatory institutions.

According to him, the president is of the view that the membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country.

“I, therefore, pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity,” he added.

Buhari noted that the amendment, when approved, would increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six: one person from each of the geopolitical zones of the country.

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He also opined that under B, the proposed amendment would increase the membership of the Board from nine to 13, “and strengthen the institutions and guarantee national spread, and also achieve the expected policy contributions.’’

According to him, the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance already have supervision or inter-governmental relations, and can continue to perform such roles without being in the Board.

On C, which is appointment of Executive Directors, Buhari noted the need to exempt serving public officers from the established confirmation process for political appointments.

He added that it would ensure effective management of the regulatory institutions through uniform implementation of public service rules for employees of the Authority.

The president stressed that “the proposed amendments to the PIA 2021 is strictly about the structure, aimed at ensuring smooth take-off and consequent growth of the two institutions.’’

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