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President to lose power to dish out oil wells

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The House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill has recommended that the president be deprived of his “discretionary power” to give out oil wells in form of granting of oil licences to operators in the country’s oil and gas industry.

The committee made the recommendation in its report on the PIB laid before the House in Abuja on Thursday.

In removing this power as contained in Section 191 of the original bill, the committee recommended competitive bidding for such awards to “avoid the practice whereby the power for the award of oil blocks was discretionary.”

The committee chaired by the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Ishaka Bawa also recommended the removal of the Minister of Petroleum Resources as the chairman of the National Oil Company proposed to assume the duties of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and other key industry agencies.

The minister is also no longer empowered to recommend to the president who to appoint as the chairmen ‎of the boards of agencies listed in the PIB.

The agencies include Upstream Petroleum Inspectorate Agency; Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency; Asset Management Corporation; and any other corporate entity established by the Act (PIB).

The House is yet to consider and approve or reject the report.

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