Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) faults legislation that places its ownership on the federal government-(NNPC)

Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) faults legislation that places its ownership on the federal government-(NNPC)

Nigeria Governors
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) faults legislation that places its ownership on the federal government-(NNPC)—

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has faulted the ownership structure of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation proposed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The NGF which said that it supports the unbundling and commercialisation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as prescribed in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), faulted part of the legislation that places its ownership on the federal government.

This was conveyed in a communique issued at the end of the 32nd Teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, which was held on Wednesday July 14.

The Governors argued that the legislation ignores the fact that the NNPC is owned by the three tiers of government. They also disclosed plans of taking up the requested amendment to the PIB as well as the proposed three percent share of oil revenue to host communities and 30 percent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins with the relevant channels including the National Assembly and the National Economic Council (NEC) subsequently.

It read;

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 32ND TELECONFERENCE MEETING (9TH IN 2021) OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 14TH JULY 2021

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on issues of national importance and resolved as follows:

1. Executive Order #10 and Financial Autonomy for the State Legislature and Judiciary
The Forum has 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. The template was developed following a meeting of the State Attorneys General and Commissioners of Finance which held on the 25th of June 2021 at the directive of the Forum.

2. Nigerian Postal Service Bill, 2021 & Stamp Duties Collection
The Forum expressed concern with certain proposed amendments to the Principal Stamp Duties Act by the Nigerian Senate which 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.

3. The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)
The Forum is in full support of the unbundling and commercialization of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) but concerned with the proposed ownership structure of the NNPC which places ownership on the Federal Government. The NGF recommends 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 – for now, the institution that is positioned to carry out this mandate is the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA). This amendment as well as the proposed 3% share of oil revenue to host communities and 30% 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).

4. Sale of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Assets
The Forum will take a position on the planned privatisation of assets of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) which were listed by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) without due consultation with State governments who are shareholders of the company. NDPHC 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 with a mandate to manage National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP) in the country.

5. Launch of the NGF Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative
The Forum put its weight behind the launch of its Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative (PISI) set up to tackle insecurity, conflicts and violence in the country. The launch of PISI which took place on 8th July 2021 heralded an important milestone for NGF as it seeks to build a more inclusive and collaborative platform to drive an urgent country-wide response to security challenges in the country.

UPDATES & PRESENTATIONS
6. The Chairman of the Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi informed members of the inauguration of the National Steering Committee (NSC) of the National Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (NPRGS) chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with a mandate to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years. State Governors have been enjoined to nominate focal persons who will consolidate policy strategies put in place by State governments to end poverty in the country. The focal persons will be inducted into a technical working group chaired by the Governor of Nasarawa State, H.E Abdullahi Sule and co-chaired by the Honourable Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba.

7. The Forum received an update from the Governor of Lagos State H.E Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the recent rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases and call for consensual action to prevent a third wave in the country. Following the update, the Forum called on all State Governors to revive their COVID
protocols and collaborate with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to take appropriate and immediate actions to flatten the transmission curve. The Forum will interface with the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 to accelerate processes required to fast track the delivery of additional vaccines for the country.

8. An update on the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability – Program-for-Results (PforR) was made by Mr. Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, the NGF SFTAS Programme Manager, who informed State Governors of the ongoing verification exercise for the SFTAS disbursement linked indicators and debt reconciliation exercise carried out with the Federal Ministry of Finance,
Budget and National Planning (FMBNP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO). The Forum commended the SFTAS programme office and welcomed the reconciliation exercise which will be seen through by the State Commissioners of Finance.

9. Following an update on the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Programme for Results (Nigeria CARES), from Mrs. Firo Elhassan, NGF Programme Manager, the Forum resolved to interface with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMBNP) and the Federal Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to ensure speedy approval and commencement of the programme in line with the 2021 budgets of States.

10. Sequel to a presentation by Rt. Hon. Princess Miriam Onuoha, Chairman, House of Representatives, Committee on Disabilities on the adoption of the Discrimination against Person with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act (2018), the Forum committed to actively support, through the NGF Secretariat, the domestication of the disability law in States where it has not already been passed. Since 2018, at least twelve (12) States have passed disability laws, including Ekiti, Lagos, Kwara, Kogi, Plateau, Jigawa, Ondo, Bauchi, Anambra, Niger and River State.

11. The Forum received a presentation on the Roadmap for Successful Digital Transformation Execution in States from the Chief Executive Officer of Suburban Fiber Company, Mr Bruce Ayonote. The proposal which sought to build both hard and soft digital infrastructure for State governments was welcomed by State Governors. The Forum mandated its Secretariat to facilitate the planning and partnership process with interested State governments.

12. Lastly, the Forum received a report on the Diversification and Non-oil Export Opportunities for States Post-COVID-19 from the Policy Development Facility (PDF) Bridge Programme. The Forum welcomed the study and noted that findings of the report will help strengthen the diversification agenda of States.

Governor Kayode Fayemi
Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum
14th July, 2021

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