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Setback for PIGB as NNPC points out ‘flaws’

Indications that President Muhammadu Buhari might not assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) emerged on Friday as yhe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said “it still needs some work”.

Speaking on Thursday at the annual conference of the Association of Energy Correspondents of Nigeria, Maikanti Baru, NNPC group managing director, said splitting the corporation into two may cause tension.

Buhari is the de facto petroleum minister and NNPC reports to him.

The national assembly had split the Petroleum Industry Bill into four smaller bills – PIGB, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and Petroleum Host Community Bill, for easy passage.

Two companies, Nigerian Petroleum Assets Management Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Company,  will be floated from the NNPC and its subsidiaries.

Shares of the NPC will initially be held by the ministry of petroleum (40%), finance (40%) and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (20%).

“Engagement with staff and consultation with individuals and establishment with an institutional memory of how the issue of staff movement was handled when the DPR was expunged from the NNPC is necessary,” Baru who was represented by Roland Ewubare, the group general manager, Nigerian Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), said.

“However, 10 per cent and an additional 30 per cent of the shares of the company shall be floated on the Nigerian Stock Exchange within five years and 10 years from incorporation, respectively.

“On the issue of divestment of 40% of the NPC shares to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, there is a need for clarity on the process of the divestment and the steps should be clearly provided in the law.

“There is a need for clarity regarding the nature of the NNPC liability to be transferred to the Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company, asides from outstanding pension obligations of the DPR.

“There is a need to provide adequate clarity on the type and nature of liability to be inherited and the process for the settlement of such liability.”

It has been 139 days since the bill has been passed by the national assembly. It is currently awaiting presidential assent.

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