The Senate on Wednesday confirmed the appointment of the 4 members of the board of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC).
The confirmation of the board members who were nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari nominees was sequel to the consideration of a report by the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources. The new agency will automatically lead to the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) which will have its responsibilities taken over by the commission.
The nominees confirmed by the Senate include Isa Modibbo – Chairman; Gbenga Komolafe – Chief Executive; Hassan Gambo – Executive Commissioner, Finance and Accounts; and Rose Ndong – Executive Commissioner, Exploration and Acreage Management.
What the Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources is saying
While presenting its report, the Chairman of the Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream), Senator Albert Akpan, said that the nominees demonstrated enough knowledge of the workings of the petroleum industry, especially the upstream petroleum sector, as well as the economics of petroleum exploration and production.
Akpan pointed out that the appointments of the nominees satisfied the requirements of Sections 11 and 18 (1-5) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.
He said, “There are no adverse reports against the nominees as record checks and other forms of investigations by security agencies did not reveal any negative trace against them.”
Akpan expressed the Committee’s satisfaction at the qualifications, experience, suitability, competence and integrity of the nominees to assume the position of Chairman, Chief Executive and Executive Commissioners of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.
What the Senate President is saying
In his remark, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said the establishment of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission would provide a foundation for the stabilisation of the petroleum industry in Nigeria.
He also said the confirmation of the NURC board has automatically led to the scrapping of the Department of Petroleum Resources as the new commission will take over its responsibilities.
He said, “The Regulatory Commission has the enormous and huge responsibility of setting and establishing the Commission as provided in the Petroleum Industry Act.
“They have the unenviable responsibility of ensuring that they commit themselves and work hard to provide the solid and stable foundation for that matter, that they don’t waste any time because time is of essence.
“The implication of the approval of board members for the commission is that the Department of Petroleum Resources has ceased to exist.
“The Petroleum Industry will go through a reform process and the process has already started.This Commission is one of the huge arms of those reforms that will stabilize the petroleum industry in Nigeria.
“While the Senate confirms them, we expect nothing less than commitment and patriotism on their side.
“The Senate wishes them the best and a very fruitful tenure as they take their offices. We expect that the other regulatory authority for downstream and midstream will also be confirmed as soon as possible, so they also start their work immediately.”
What you should know
The Federal Government had earlier announced the setting up of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to take over the responsibilities of DPR following the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that about 2 weeks ago, President Buhari sent a request to the Senate to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 in order to expand the membership of the board of directors and to address the issue of geographical balance in its membership among other changes.
The President in the letter dated September 16, explained that the request for amendment became necessary having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.
He also in another letter announced the nomination of board members for confirmation for the 2 regulatory agencies.