The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, said on Monday there are no plans to scrap the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sylva, who disclosed this to journalists after a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly in Abuja, said the bill only seeks the commercialisation of the state-owned oil corporation.
A draft copy of the PIB was discussed at the meeting presided over by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and other principal officers of the National Assembly also attended the meeting.
The minister said: “We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped but that is not envisaged by the Bill at all.
“NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialised in line with deregulation move being made across all the streams in the oil and gas sector – 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, which is the pipeline sector. The 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 commercialization, the required competitiveness in the sector will be achieved.
Sylva also disclosed that host communities would benefit from the PIB.
“Through the PIB, the oil industry will be transformed and the PEF and the PPPRA will not exist in the same form that they exist presently.
“But I don’t want to go into the details of the bill until it is read on the floor of the Senate.”