President Muhammadu Buhari will not disband the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), state minister for petroleum Timipre Sylva has said.
The government will, however, use the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2020 to turn NNPC into a money-making venture.
Reports had said that if the PIB, which the government transmitted to the National Assembly on Monday, was passed into law, NNPC would give way for another agency.
But Sylva clarified to journalists in Abuja that that would not be the case.
“We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped but that is not envisaged by the Bill at all,” the minister said.
“NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialised in line with deregulation move being made across all the streams in the sector comprising of upstream, downstream and midstream.
“We have said that NNPC will be commercialised. But If you are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing that we are introducing is the development of the midstream— that is the pipeline sector.
“That sector between the upstream and the downstream which, because the framework was not there, has not really developed very well.
“So, we have provided robustly for the growth of the midstream sector.
“Through commercialisation, the required competitiveness in the sector, will be achieved”
Sylva also explained that the host communities will also have the best deal from the bill.
“I am sure that the PIB will also take care of that because with the PIB the industry will be transformed and the PEF and the PPPRA will not exist in the same form that they exist today,” he said.
“But I don’t want to go into the details of the Bill until it is read on the floor of the Senate.”