Authority begins review of petroleum regulations
The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has begun to review the midstream and downstream petroleum regulations to bequeath the industry with laws and policies to enable investment in the sector.
Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources at the NMDPRA stakeholders’ consultation forum on regulations on Monday in Abuja said the regulations had been shared with stakeholders for review and input.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 10 regulations to be considered are: the Petroleum (Transportation and Shipment) Regulations and Assignment and Transfer of Licence and Permit Regulations.
The regulations include Midstream and Downstream Petroleum(Operations) Regulations; Petroleum Pipeline Regulations; Gas Pricing Domestic Demand and Delivery Regulations; and Natural Gas Pipeline Tariff Regulations.
Others are Midstream and Downstream Decommissioning and Abandonment Regulations; Environmental Regulations for Midstream and Downstream Operations; Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund Regulations and Environmental Remediation Funds Regulations.
“We are now at the point of engagement and interaction with a view to issuing regulations that would benefit all stakeholders,” the minister said.
The minister said that with the creation of the Petroleum Industry Act of 2021, the authority was saddled with the responsibility of technically and commercially regulating both the mid- and downstream operations in the sector.
He said the review was in fulfilment of the provisions of Sections 33 and 216 of the PIA 2021.
This, he said mandated NMDPRA to consult with relevant stakeholders prior to finalising regulations concerning the processing, refining, transmission, distribution, supply, sale and storage of petroleum products, or any other matters deemed expedient.
“This administration understands the need to have all-encompassing, well thought-out, and unambiguous regulatory instruments that are painstakingly developed to meet the present and future aspirations of the government.
“The regulations are required to attract much-needed investments and create opportunities in the sector; hence the need for stakeholders’ participation and engagement in developing regulations, processes and procedures.
“Prior to this event, the authority has initiated and proposed ten different regulations which span operations, pricing and environmental management, in line with its statutory mandate.
“Whilst noting that the current state of our local energy landscape is dire and is in need of ingenious solutions, we have an opportunity to ameliorate the situation through these sets of regulatory instruments,” he said.
He said that the regulations would provide clarity and certainty for investors, promote and build investor confidence, increase and improve foreign and indigenous participation in these sectors, and optimise value for all stakeholders.
These, he said would cumulate into the enablement of businesses, growth of the industry and creation of myriads of opportunities for Nigerians.
Mr Farouk Ahmed, Authority Chief Executive, NMDPRA in an address said this innovation, amongst others in the PIA, aligned with the vision and commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari and the minister of state.
Ahmed, while extending appreciation to the ninth National Assembly who ensured the passage of the PIA, said Section 216 of the PIA mandated the authority to ‘consult with stakeholders prior to finalising amendments to regulations.
However, he said it did not consider this an obligation or box-ticking exercise as continuous engagement with its stakeholders to enable their business was at the core of its regulatory philosophy.
“Accordingly, our priority will be to ensure these regulations are primary enablers of the Federal Government’s Decade of Gas initiative and will help catalyse investment and enhance the attractiveness of the domestic gas value chain,” the NMDPRA boss said.
In a remark, Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Sen. Sabo Mohammed, said the passage into law of the PIA was a watershed in the legislative history of the nation.
Mohammed, represented by its Vice Chairman, Sen. Philip Aduda, said it was expected that, as secondary legislation, the regulations would complement the PIA in unlocking the vast potential of the midstream and downstream sector.