The Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, has cleared the air over speculation that the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) send to the National Assembly proposed the scrapping of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Minister pacified the fears while answering questions from journalists at the National Assembly yesterday shortly after the interactive session with the leadership of the National Assembly.
Sylva explained that the new PIB seeks to commercialize the NNPC not the other way round as being speculated.
In his statement, “We’ve heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped, but that is not being envisaged by the bill at all.
“NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialized in line with deregulation moves being made across all the streams in the sector comprising upstream, downstream and midstream.
“We have said that NNPC will be commercialized.
“But if you are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing that we are introducing is the development of the midstream that is the pipeline sector.
According to him, they have made provision for the growth of the midstream sector through commercialization, thereby, providing ground for competitiveness.
The Minister further explained that the host community interest has been well-factored.
He said, through the PIB, the oil industry will be transformed, and the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) and the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) would seize to exist as is obtainable now.
However, he revealed he would not go into the detail of the bill until the National Assembly unveiled the detail at the hallowed chamber.