PIB: Govs back unbundling of NNPC as bill suffers set back in Reps

The Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF,  Thursday  gave support to the planned unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum corporation, NNPC which is a major component of the Petroleum Industry Bill ((PIB) now before the National Assembly for passage.

However, while the Senate  yesterday passed the bill with 3% provision for host communities, the bill suffered a setback at the House of Representatives over disagreements on the same issue.

Rising from its 35th Teleconferencing in Abuja , the NGF also raised concerns over the proposed ownership structure of the NNPC, as contained in the PIB.

Read Also: PIB: Lawmakers seek to make NNPC profitable but concerns remain

Although the governors gave their  support to the unbundling and commercialisation of the NNPC, they however  faulted the placement of NNPC  ownership to the federal government.

The  20 year old legislation seeks to create the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited, a corporate entity incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

It provides that the ownership of all shares in the incorporated NNPC shall be vested with the government, and the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum shall hold the shares on behalf of the government. The shares are not transferable.

Reading the commuque at the end of its meeting, the NGF chairman Kayode Fayemi  of Ekiti state said the NGF recommended that given that the corporation is owned by the three tiers of government, the new incorporated entity (NNPC Limited) should be owned by a vehicle that “holds the interest of the three tiers of government” –the institution that is currently positioned to carry out this mandate is the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

The also said the proposed three per cent share of oil revenue to host communities and 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins will be responded to at relevant channels including the National Assembly and the National Economic Council (NEC).

The NGF also called for consensual action to prevent a third wave of COVID-19 in the country. This was sequel to an update from the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu.

They called on all state governors to revive their COVID-19 protocols and collaborate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take appropriate and immediate actions to flatten the transmission curve.

The forum approved a  common template for the implementation of Executive Order 10 and Financial Autonomy for the State Legislature and Judiciary

Said he ” The governors approved a common template for the implementation of the Memorandum of Action signed with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASUN) on the implementation of financial autonomy for the State legislature and judiciary”

Fayemi said the governors were  concerned about certain proposed amendments to the Principal Stamp Duties Act by the Nigerian Senate.

The amendment seeks to remove the powers to administer and collect stamp duties from the relevant tax authorities (Federal Inland Revenue Service or State Internal Revenue Service, depending on the nature of the transaction) to the Nigeria Postal Service.

The provisions of Section 163 of the 1999 Constitution requires that Stamp Duties on transactions between a company and an individual should be paid to the FIRS and returned to the State of derivation. The Forum resolved to engage with the National Assembly on the matter, NGF said.

And on the sale of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Assets, the Forum said it will take a position on the planned privatisation of the assets listed by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) without due consultation with State governments who are shareholders of the company.

NDPHC, they said, is incorporated under the Companies and Allied Matters Act as a private limited liability company with shareholding fully subscribed to by the federal, state and local governments.