The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, Monday inaugurated a technical committee to carry out a review of the newly passed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 and its implications on the statutory responsibilities of the ministry.
The ministry had earlier indicated that machinery had been put in motion to push for the amendment of the newly passed PIA to address certain conflicts with the mandate of the Weights and Measures Department particularly in the area of pre-shipment inspection activities at the crude oil terminals.
Essentially, the technical committee headed by the director, Legal Services of the ministry, Muhammed Alhassan will among other things review the PIA and its implication on the Oil and Gas Export Permit being issued to exporters by CED, review the PIA in relation to the Weights and Measures Act, and its implication on the Department as well as highlight the implication of the Act on the roles of CED and Weights and Measures Departments under the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS).
The committee will further suggest an appropriate strategy to use in bringing the NESS scheme to FMITI since the scheme is about exports, which is a core mandate of the ministry, suggest ways to remedy the infractions on the responsibilities of the ministry if any; and prepare relevant letters to President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly.
The minister in a statement by his media aide, Mr Ifedayo Sayo, noted that the Act tampered significantly with some statutory roles of the ministry, adding that, “As a ministry, some of our roles as they relate to the administration of the pre-shipment inspection and the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) had hitherto been under the ministry of finance, and are now under the new commission under the Petroleum Industry Act.”
He stressed the need by the ministry to leverage on the window provided by the review of the Act to enable it to play a more significant role under the scheme in line with its mandate.
Adebayo said, “Therefore, your technical committee is expected to take a professional look at the document, come up with strategies that will help redress the identified issues.
“There is a sense of urgency in the execution of your assignment so that we can seek the amendment of the infractions on the statutory functions of the ministry, especially through a request to relevant institutions of government.”
He said, “It is important to state that your assignment is critical to the continuity of some of our roles as a ministry. I am confident in the quality of members chosen to undertake this assignment, therefore I task you all to make far-reaching recommendations that will help sustain and stabilize our operations.”
The committee which comprises directors in the ministry has two weeks within which to submit its report.