Q&A with Emmanuel Egbogah, Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria on Petroleum Matters
- Emmanuel O. Egbogah (Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria) | John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 26 - 29
- 2008. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Regarding your new appointment as special adviser to the President of Nigeria on Petroleum Matters, what does your position involve?
My position is to advise the president of Nigeria on anything to do with petroleum, including legal aspects, policies, and strategies. The Nigerian petroleum industry is my responsibility. In the immediate term, I am involved in the restructuring of the public sector of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria. That is my immediate task because in the past the oil industry has not done as well as it should have. A lot of the laws are very old and out of date so I am involved in updating laws and policies. We are repealing many laws and enacting new ones to be able to make the changes in the industry that we want to occur. Those changes are very fundamental and very profound and will change the way the oil industry operates in Nigeria.
Can you describe what kinds of changes you would like to see happen?
For instance, we have created a structure that derived from the highest level of authority in the government, what we call a superministerial council, the National Energy Council, which will be chaired directly by the president himself. This council, which includes ministers of the government and myself, will supervise the restructuring and the complete reorganization of the national oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In the past, NNPC has engaged in what I call a conflicting role in legal, commercial, and regulatory policies. It is not possible that a company could police itself, so we are now going to separate the various functions of the company.
The new company, which is going to be called the National Petroleum Company of Nigeria, will engage purely in commercial activities and function as an integrated national company that can go to the stock market and raise money to carry out its operations. It will be regulated by a new agency, called the Petroleum Inspectorate Commission, which replaces the Department of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria. That commission will have the authority to regulate, including the international oil companies (IOCs) operating in the country.
We will have a dual regulation structure—one body to oversee the upstream and another to oversee the downstream, called the Petroleum Development Administration. These functions will be clearly defined so that the roles no longer will be conflicting and self-defeating. We believe that this kind of structure will give clarity, efficiency, and professionalism to the oil and gas industry in Nigeria.
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