PIB: FG pacifies North with N16bn Frontier Basin Exploration Agency



As part of the truce deal aimed at getting the North to support the new Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Federal Government has given the nod to set up a National Frontier Basin Exploration Agency. Establishment of the Agency would cost the Federal Government a princely N16 billion. Allocation for the yet-to-be established Agency was already captured in the 2013 Appropriation Act signed by President Goodluck Jonathan in February.

Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Committee, Smart Adeyemi is the sole sponsor of the National Frontier Basin Exploration Agency (Est. et cetera) Bill, 2013 in the Senate. The bill scaled the First Reading in the Senate yesterday, a day lawmakers resumed from the Easter recess. A similar bill, it was gathered, was already in the House of Representatives. When it comes into operation, the Agency would execute, promote and oversee exploration activities in the inland sedimentary basins in Nigeria.

Daily Sun had exclusively reported that in a move designed to secure the economic future of the region, the North now wanted President Goodluck Jonathan administration to commence serious work in hydrocarbon exploration and gas-oriented projects in the North. The region’s demand was contained in a position paper prepared by external consultants commissioned to study the PIB as it affects the North. The late Yar’Adua administration, they contended, had incorporated these in the version of the PIB he forwarded to the National Assembly in 2008.

A part of the abridged commentary on the commissioned report reads: “The new institutional structure being proposed for the country’s oil and gas industry does not create a framework for any serious or effective exploration for hydrocarbons in the frontier acreages of the country’s six sedimentary basins, four of which are in the northern section of the nation. “The New Petroleum Technical Bureau to be located in the office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, which takes over the responsibilities of NNPC’s Frontier Exploration Services cannot really be a substitute for the National Frontier Exploration Services (NFES) that was earlier proposed in the version of the bill sent to the National Assembly by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.”

On another flank, the region is worried about the seeming inability of “the management of the petroleum industry in Nigeria to prioritise gas supply to the north.” To resolve the problem, since “the Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline has consistently remained in the back burner of all gas utilization plans in the country,” the only way to ensure gas supply to the north “over more export-oriented gas projects by operators in the industry is (to) ensure that the terms of Domestic Supply Obligations and Pricing Regulations signed by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua administration are incorporated in the new petroleum industry legislation.”

As proposed in the new law which would establish the Frontier Basin Exploration Agency, as contained in No. 06 of the April 8, 2013 edition of the National Assembly Journal, the Agency shall regulate petroleum exploration activities in all unassigned frontier acreages in Nigeria held by the Directorate; it would also identify opportunities and increase information about the petroleum resource base within al, frontier acreages in Nigeria, in a cost-effective manner and with demonstrable, technical and operational excellence.

Similarly it is expected to develop exploration strategies and portfolio management for the exploration of the unassigned frontier; promote and stimulate the interest of petroleum exploration and production companies in all unassigned exploration acreages in Nigeria. The Petroleum Resources Minister has the prerogative to determine any of the basins in Nigeria that the Agency would conduct its exploration services. “In this bill, unless the context otherwise requires: “frontier acreages” means any or all licenses or leases located in the Anambra, Benue Trough, Bida, Chad, Dahomey and Sokoto Basins of Nigeria.

“Inland Basin” means any of the following basins, namely; Anambra, Benin, Benue, Chad, Bida, Dahomey, Gongola, Sokoto and such other basins as may be determined from time to time by the minister.” The PIB formally titled, “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of a Legal, Fiscal and Regulatory Framework for the Petroleum Industry in Nigeria and Other Related Matters, 2012”, is seeking to, among other things, create a conducive business environment for petroleum operations; protect health, safety and the environment in the course of petroleum operations, enhance exploration and exploitation of petroleum resources in Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians; optimise domestic gas supplies, particularly for power generation and industrial development; establish commercially-oriented and profit-driven, oil and gas entities; deregulate and liberalise the downstream petroleum sector; create efficient and effective regulatory agencies; and promote transparency and openness in the administration of the petroleum resources of Nigeria. END

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  1. Nigeria which way is it going back or front oil oil and oil how many did i call you no answer this suppose be blessing to us now he has turn to be corus why that oil

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  3. samuel ukpai on

    I believe finding oil in the north is the ultimate solution to the problems of this country.i wish the federal government will have the sense of secretly pumping oil from the niger delta to the north to make it appear as if it is from the norh.This will bring peace to nigeria

  4. Must the Niger Delta’s wealth always be used to spoon feed these babies who refuse to grow up. Sucking the Niger Delta milk dry in the pretense of a HUGE fraud called Nigeria. How many people truly believe in one Nigeria? We are all a bunch sensationalists but pretend otherwise. The north’s blackmail did not start today. When the first motion for independence was raised they refused; claiming not to be ready. The south foolishly had to wait for them to be weaned & ready. This is the type of price people pay for waiting for those who didn’t want to marry them but were forced into it. This unholy marriage (Nigeria) needs immediate dissolution for the north to stop holding us to and for ransom. It is time for ‘To thy tents O’ Israel’. God bless Ndigbo, Old Eastern Nigeria & Africa. Amen.

    • Do not say south but say Igbo and the rest of the southern minorities. Yoruba remain independent minded within Nigeria, they are ly make noise but nevertheless thru Chief Awolowo and his government, they have the most stable region of Nigeria with commerce and human development going hand in hand.

      The rest of Nigeria has gone to the dogs with kidnapping, and similar crime.

  5. @Omoibile no point joining issues with you because you don’t seem to know that an LGA boss in (Lagos) has been kidnapped not in the east or south south but south west(your safe heaven). Thank God Ndigbo are not pretenders & can never be. We don’t see or worship anybody as our god/God. Every Igbo can stand up to his/her father, uncles, elders etc to fight for his/her right without pretense. This to me is independent mind but you people see it as lack of respect. Who cares? Ndigbo don’t expect yoruba & hausa to behave like us.So you guys must not expect Ndigbo to behave like you. We are by blood born to be real & ourselves.

  6. Nigeria law makers are very good only on grammatical expressions but it’s appliances , adoptions and common usage becomes a harcullian task to the general well being of the nation.

  7. Omoibile , if your assertions was true , why then do the entire world recorded the then Eastern Nigeria as among the world’s fastest growing economy under the first republic? Was it not Late Dr Okpara of the then premier Eastern region administrator that gained all that feet with his palm produce that his government was recorded as one of the best agrarian economy that ran at par with South Korea , China , and Malaysia to be precise? Who gave you all these fallacious documentary? Did you read History at all in school? Haven’t you heard it that it was on our backyard here that the Malaysian emissaries came and collected our palm seedlings and became what they are today in the world economy? Have you ever being to Malaysia before? If ever you have visited that country , you will even resort to initiate a self styled revolution against Nigeria state. Pls , stop believing tribal stories narrated by parents , such will definitely deny you the opportunity to understand the spherical nature of the world.

  8. oil companies scramble to explore for hydrocarbon in the niger delta region of nigeria. Goodluck is handing over N16b to suckers to look for oil somewhere else.

    I am waiting to see where this pacification will lead to. I wonder how many Nigerians will be willing to lay down their lives again.

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