Wednesday, October 20, 2021

PIA should be reviewed every five years: ICSAN

Such periodic review would help to consolidate the gains of the legislation, according to ICSAN.

• September 18, 2021

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) has recommended the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to be subject to a five-year review.

ICSAN registrar, Taiwo Olusesi, made the recommendation in the Institute’s position paper on the PIA on Saturday in Lagos.

The Institute said such periodic review would help to consolidate the gains of the legislation.

“This is to accommodate the genuine yearnings of the stakeholders as well as other requisite exigencies that might come to light during usage of the law,” she said.

She enjoined the government to build a governance structure around the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and that appointment of its board directors to be based on merit.

Ms Olusesi said, “There must be an adequate framework of risk management and control systems which should incorporate well-articulated whistleblowing policies.

“Furthermore, proper checks and balances must be built into the system to ensure that no individual, unit, or department can undermine or dis-apply the control system at his or her whims and caprices.

“We request that NNPCL should always have a board to oversee and guide the management to achieve the expected objectives.

“There should be an annual board appraisal with the corporate governance evaluation of NNPCL, which should be published,” she said.

Among other submissions, the association said, the NNPCL must have a qualified and experienced company secretary to oversee its secretariat.

She said this would enable the secretariat to play its role as the compliance officer responsible for the entrenchment of good corporate governance in the company.

“The qualification and experience must not be less than that of a company secretary of a public interest entity, and the recruitment process must be competitive.

Ms Olusesi urged the government, through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, parastatals and regulators, to embark on a massive stakeholders’ enlightenment campaign to dispel the confusion by illuminating the provisions of the Act and revealing their implications.

“Much of the controversies trailing the PIA 2021 emanate from many of its grey areas and provisions which are capable of many interpretations.

“This lack of preciseness and clarity of many provisions in the Act is breeding mistrust and apprehensions among many stakeholders.

“For example, the provisions on the thirty per cent Frontiers Exploration Fund require elucidation.

“The Institute, in consonance with its tradition of guiding on issues of Corporate Governance and Public Administration, hereby undertakes to convene a stakeholders’ webinar for the sake of mass enlightenment on this new PIA 2021,” she said.

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