President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021.
He made the request in a letter read by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary on Tuesday on the floor of the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.
In the letter dated September 16, President Buhari explained that his proposal 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 listed the three areas of the Act he sought to be amended to include the appointment of non-executive board members, removal of the Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Finance from the boards of the two institutions, as well as the appointment of executive directors.
“I am of the view that this membership limitation has not addressed the principle of balanced geopolitical representation of the country,” he said in the letter to the lawmakers.
“I, therefore, pray for the intervention of the 9th Assembly to correct this oversight in the interest of our national unity.
“Needless to add that this amendment will provide a sense of participation and inclusion to almost every section of the country in the decision making of strategic institutions such as the oil industry.”
If approved, the President is hopeful that the amendment will increase the number of non-executive board members from two to six – ensuring that each region has a representation.