The Senate has confirmed the appointment of 4 nominees as board members of the new Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA).

This is coming barely a day after the members of the upper legislative chamber confirmed the appointment of the 4 members of the board of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC).

According to NAN, their confirmation follows the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Downstream Petroleum sector at Thursday’s plenary session.

The nominees that were confirmed include Mr Idaere Ogan, as Chairman, Farouk Ahmed (Chief Executive Officer), Abiodun Adeniji (Executive Director Finance and Accounts) and Ogbugo Ukoha (Executive Director, Distributions System, Storage and Retail Infrastructure).

What the lawmakers are saying

While presenting its report, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Sabo Mohammed said that the appointments were in accordance with provisions of section 34(3) of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.

Mohammed said that the nominees possessed the technical knowledge and professional expertise needed to be appointed as members of the board.

The lawmaker noted that the committee did not receive petitions against their nominations for appointment, adding that they were cleared by the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS).

Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC-Osun) said that the current synergy between the executive and legislature has paid off in stabilising the Nigerian economy, particularly the oil and gas sector with the passage of the long-awaited PIA.

He said, “I think this should be noted for Nigerians to know that country is ready for full utilisation and optimisation of the benefits in the oil and gas sector.’’

In his own remark, the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said that the nominees were expected to lay solid foundation for the NMDPRA.

He, therefore, advised them to work in collaboration with the relevant committees of the National Assembly to ensure positive outcome in the oil and gas sector.

Lawan said, “They need to work hard, they need to be selfless. What they do will impact very significantly on the reform in the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

“And in fact, when they work hard on the foundation, they could get it right and then any other development in the future will be on a very sound, strong and stable foundation.

“To do otherwise is not an option. This is a trust that this nation has bestowed on them.’’

What you should know

Recall that the Federal Government had earlier announced the setting up of the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority to take over the responsibilities of DPR following the signing of the Petroleum Industry Act by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On September 16, 2021, President Buhari sent a request to the Senate to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021 in order to expand the membership of the board of directors and to address the issue of geographical balance in its membership among other changes.

The President in the letter explained that the request for amendment became necessary having carefully reviewed the administrative structure of both the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission.

He had also in another letter announced the nomination of board members for confirmation for the 2 regulatory agencies.