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Downstream operators fault lawmakers’ oversight function on private companies

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Downstream operators fault lawmakers’ oversight function on private companies
Downstream operators in the oil and gas industry have raised concern over lawmakers’ oversight function on private companies.

They faulted the oversight function performed by lawmakers on private companies that were being supervised and regulated by government agencies, and lamented the time wasted attending to summons by the lawmakers.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the operators made the complaints at the 2022 Annual Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week in Lagos on Tuesday.

Mr Dakuku Peterside, a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said lawmakers lacked the power to carry out oversight functions on private companies.

Peterside said lawmakers were acting illegally by summoning executives of private companies as part of their oversight functions.

“It is time, we educate the lawmakers that this action is illegal.” he said.

Citing national assembly rules, Peterside, a former member of the Nigerian House of Representatives, said the national assembly had powers only to summon the regulator who should then appear and provide an explanation for the actions of the companies it was regulating.

Also, Mr Billy Okoye, a former General Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), harped on the loss of time and productivity by executives who spend valuable time answering summons and said this was becoming a thorny issue in the sector.

Downstream operators fault lawmakers’ oversight function on private companies

Mr Farouk Ahmed, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), said these issues, among others, were a concern in the sector and the authority was working to address the lapses.

Ahmed, however, said that the sector was experiencing significant changes that required urgent action, especially as energy transition had become a big issue.

“We are currently experiencing major developments in energy supply globally, with discussions on energy demand rapidly evolving and rallying around the need for energy supply to be guaranteed through cleaner and more sustainable sources.

“These discussions have metamorphosed into a compelling strategic case which has emplaced another Energy Transition in this century,” he said.

Ahmed said in the light of the current realities, all stakeholders in the energy sector, and more specifically the downstream, must ensure that the sector was properly positioned for enhanced performance.

“This would entail the optimisation of technology, petroleum product quality upgrade, regional markets integration, HSEC assurance, human capital development and strong regulatory enablement,” he said.

The NMDPRA boss said the annual Oil Trading and Logistics (OTL) Africa Downstream Week, was an initiative dedicated to discussing business, policy, and issues in the downstream petroleum markets across the continent.

NAN reports that the three-day 2022 Downstream week started on Monday with a panel session on regulating the sector in a dynamic time.

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