International and local oil and gas companies operating in the midstream and downstream sectors of the Nigerian oil industry on Thursday asked the Federal Government to review the fees, penalties, licensing processes, among others, in the industry.
Operators in the sector made this known at the Stakeholders’ Consultation Forum On Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulations organised by the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority in Abuja.
The oil firms, alongside the Federal Government, also concluded consultations on the draft oil regulations in the midstream and downstream sector.
A presentation put together by oil companies and other stakeholders in Syndicate Group 3, which was presented at the closing ceremony of the four-day forum, highlighted some of the demands of the operators as touching regulations in the sector.
In the highlights of the presentation, the operators stated that “fees and penalties should be reviewed. General Penalty (where there is no specific) should be reviewed. Requirements and processes for approvals, permits and licences should be specified. Review of some proposed fees and penalties.”
They stated that the dollarisation of fees and penalties should be looked into, adding that industry regulations should be in tandem with the provisions of the Petroleum Industry Act.
The oil firms further stated that the response time by NMDPRA should be reviewed, as there must be clarity in the definition of terms and phrases in the regulations, among others.
Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the event, the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha, explained that the forum was organised to get the inputs of oil firms in the draft oil regulations.
He said, “The traditional requirement for regulations is that the regulator will draft it, propose to people, consult them and take feedback and then review the feedback before issuing the regulations.
“The PIA 2021 also captures this process and that is what we’ve done since Monday. So, we released 10 draft regulations across the board. On Monday, we released two more draft regulations, but what we had just concluded was for the 10 draft regulations.
“The feedback we got from stakeholders was very rich and intense. What is left is for us to go back and reflect on these feedbacks, take what is good, and ultimately, it is for the benefit of the industry to see how we can grow it.”
On when the authority would come up with the approved regulations based on feedback obtained from its consultations with operators, Ukoha said this would be done as fast as possible.
He said, “The feedback from the consultations is when the regulation is finally published, when it is issued. Everybody will receive it and the regulations are expected to be gazetted by the Federal Ministry of Justice.”