The Extent of Ministerial Powers under the Petroleum Industry Bill 2012

Feature article

All I want is a warm bed and a kind word and unlimited power.
Ashleigh Brilliant

The phrases, “the Minister may”, “as may be decided or imposed by the Minister” “the Minister shall have the right” are phrases commonly sighted in the Petroleum Act 1969, the principal legislation currently governing the Nigerian petroleum industry as well as subsequent industry legislations. These Ministerial powers cover a multitude of issues ranging from power to grant upstream and downstream petroleum licences, prescribe terms and conditions of licences, control pricing of petroleum products, declare national emergency,[1] order discretionary suspension of petroleum operations and make regulations, to mention a few. These provisions have resulted in the vesting of a huge amount of power in a single office with almost unfettered powers to direct the affairs of this very sensitive industry. The product has been an industry with a record of abuse of power, lack of transparency and accountability and ineffective regulatory oversight, resulting in little or no benefit being derived by the citizenry. Continue reading “The Extent of Ministerial Powers under the Petroleum Industry Bill 2012”