The House of Representatives has announced moves to begin the transfer of assets belonging to the inoperative Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to the newly established NNPC Limited.
It will be recalled that the House had for the purpose, set up an ad-hoc committee to ascertain the total inventory, assets, interests and liabilities of NNPC.
Chairman of the Committee, Kingsley Uju Chima, who presided over a meeting of the panel, said there were plans to meet with the Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Limited soon.
He also said there would be an interface with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zanaib Ahmed, on the matter.
The committee, by its mandate, will also request yearly audited reports of NNPC from Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, to compare with NNPC audited reports with that of the agency.
Section 53(2-5) of the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA stipulates that government shall hold full ownership of the NNPC Limited, with the share held by the duo of Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated and Ministry of Petroleum Incorporated on behalf of the government of the federation.
Section 53(5-8), however, stipulated government’s intention to set in motion the process of immediate commercialization and privatization of the operation and future private ownership of NNPC Limited.
Similarly, section 54 of the Act provides that: “All assets and liabilities of the NNPC will be transferred to NNPC Limited.
‘’The Minister of Petroleum and Finance are saddled with the responsibility of determining the assets, interests and liabilities of NNPC which are to be transferred within 18 months of the PIA coming into effect.’’
Addressing the meeting, Chima said the oil and gas industry was still faced with corruption, mismanagement, crisis, environmental degradation, and lack of refining capacity, among others.
He said: “The decision of the House is in sync with the provisions of Sections 88and 89 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria [as amended).
“It is also hinged on the provisions of Section 54 of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. The legislative intervention is in alliance with section A 1.03 of the introduction part of the Legislative Agenda of the 9th Assembly (2019 – 2023) which states that ‘the 9th House will seek to undertake reforms of critical sectors of the Nigerian society and economy, with a view to improving the conditions that allow for investment, innovation and economic growth.
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