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Trade ministry kicks against role interference in PIA

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Richard Adeniyi Adebayo

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has frowned at the recently enacted Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) stating that it tampered significantly with some statutory roles of the Ministry.

The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo disclosed this yesterday while inaugurating a technical committee to review the Act in Abuja.

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Adebayo said: “As a ministry, some of our roles as they relate to the administration of the pre-shipment inspection and the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) had hitherto been under the Ministry of Finance, and are now under the new commission in the Petroleum Industry Act.”

He stressed the need for the ministry to leverage the window provided by the review of the Act to enable it to play a more significant role under the scheme in line with its mandate.

He has directed the committee to review the PIA 2021 and its implications on the statutory responsibilities of the ministry.

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Essentially, the technical committee headed by the Director, Legal Services at the Ministry, Muhammed Danjuma Alhassan will among other things, review the PIA and its implication for the oil and gas export permit being issued to exporters by CED, review the PIA 2021 in relation to the Weights and Measures Act, and its implication on the Department and highlight the implication of the ACT on the roles of CED and Weights and Measures Departments under the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS).

Other areas the committee is expected to look at include, to suggest appropriate strategy to use in bringing the NESS scheme to FMITI, since the scheme is about exports, which is a core mandate of the Ministry, suggest ways to remedy the infractions on the responsibilities of the Ministry if any; and prepare relevant letters to the President and the National Assembly respectively.

In a statement, yesterday signed by the Special Adviser, Media to the Minister, Ifedayo Sayo, the Minister further explained that the “Technical committee is expected to take a professional look at the document, come up with strategies that will help redress the identified issues.

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There is a sense of urgency in the execution of your assignment so that we can seek the amendment of the infractions on the statutory functions of the Ministry, especially through a request to relevant institutions of government,” he said.

“It is important to state that your assignment is critical to the continuity of some of our roles as a Ministry. I am confident in the quality of members chosen to undertake this assignment, therefore I ask you all to make far-reaching recommendations that will help sustain and stabilize our operations,” he said.

The committee, which comprises directors in the ministry, has two weeks within which it is to submit its report.

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