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Buhari writes Senate, seeks amendment to PIA



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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Nigerian Senate to amend the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

In the letter read by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday, Buhari wanted the removal of the ministers of petroleum and finance from the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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According to him, this was to allow the two offices to continue to perform their functions without necessarily being members of the board.

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The president also wanted the amendment to allow the non-executive members of the NNPC to be increased from two to six in the interest of the petroleum industry.

Buhari recently signed the controversial Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law, but there have been protests, especially from the South-South region of the country.

The National Assembly had passed the bill in July against the outcries by people of the Niger Delta region of the country who said that three per cent allocated to host communities in the bill should be increased to five.

Socio-political leaders from the region, who were hoping the president was going to deny assent to the bill pending when their demands would be met, were disappointed. They accused the Buhari’s presidency of not showing any regard for the concerns and feeling of the Niger Delta.

Meanwhile, experts have noted that the passage of the PIA could have positive long-term effects on both Nigeria’s public finances and oil & gas production, observing that the impact would depend on details of implementation.

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