President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly on proposed Administrative Structure Amendments to the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, of 2021.

Addressed to the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the President states that the proposal followed his careful review of the administrative structure of both the Commission and the Authority.

The structure includes appointment of Non-Executive Board Members, removal of the Ministries of Petroleum and Finance from the Board of the two institutions, appointment of Executive Directors.

In the letter, President Buhari observes that PIA 2021 provides for the appointment of two non-executive members for the board of the two regulatory institutions, but argues that the membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geo-political representation of the country.

President Buhari also explains that the proposed amendment will increase the membership of the Board from 9 to 13, and strengthen the institutions, guarantee national spread, and achieve the expected policy contributions.

He observes that 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 the appointment of Executive Directors, President Buhari notes the need to exempt serving public officers from the established confirmation process for political appointments, adding that it will ensure effective management of the regulatory institutions through uniform implementation of public service rules for employees of the Authority.

He stresses 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.

The President seeks the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this identified oversight in the interest of national unity.

President Buhari says if the amendment is approved, it will increase the number of the non-executive members from two to six, making one representative from each of the geopolitical zones of the country.

Bello Wakili