The Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, has directed the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to dissolve the committee inaugurated to investigate the National Petroleum Authority’s $63,000 a month office building.
A statement issued by the Presidency on Sunday said rather, Mr. Bani has asked the Ministry to direct the NPA not to renew their rent agreement at the end of the current tenure.
The issue of paying the whopping amount as monthly rent for offices for the NPA, which is mandated to regulate, oversee and monitor activities in the petroleum downstream industry and where applicable do so in pursuance of the prescribed petroleum pricing formula, has become a matter of public debate in recent weeks.
The 5-member Committee, according to the Ministry, was tasked with investigating among others the circumstances that led to the renting of the new offices and whether the cost per month was appropriate.
The statement said “the Presidency is reviewing the approval processes that went into the decision to commit state funds to rent an office when the upfront payment involved could have completed a permanent office building for the NPA.”
“The Chief of Staff has also cautioned other state-owned entities and their boards against decisions and actions that are not in the national interest and at variance with the principles and vision of His Excellency the President,” the statement added.
The National Petroleum Authority undertakes, among others, the following activities in pursuant of its objective;
(a) monitor ceilings on the price of petroleum products in accordance with the prescribed petroleum pricing formula;
(b) grant licenses to applicants under this Act;
(c) maintain a register and keep records and data on licenses, petroleum products and petroleum marketing service providers;
(d) provide guidelines for petroleum marketing operations;
(e) protect the interests of consumers and petroleum service providers;
(f) monitor standards of performance and quality of the provision of petroleum services;
(g) initiate and conduct investigations into standards of quality of petroleum products offered to consumer;
(h) investigate on a regular basis the operation of petroleum service providers to ensure conformity with best practice and protocols in the petroleum downstream industry;
(i) promote fair competition amongst petroleum service providers;
(j) conduct studies relating to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the downstream industry;
(k) collect and compile data on international and domestic petroleum production, supply and demand, inventory of petroleum products, and pricing of petroleum products.
Source: Daily Graphic