Home » NUPRC to Move Some Units to Lagos for Efficiency and Growth

NUPRC to Move Some Units to Lagos for Efficiency and Growth

The move is aimed at enhancing the commission’s service delivery, reducing operational costs, and making better use of its assets in Lagos.

by Motoni Olodun

The Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has announced plans to relocate some of its units from Abuja to Lagos, the commercial hub of the country. The move is aimed at enhancing the commission’s service delivery, reducing operational costs, and making better use of its assets in Lagos.

According to a memo signed by Kelechi Ofoegbu, the executive commissioner of the NUPRC, on behalf of the commission and dated February 14, 2024, each department is required to identify and provide a list of units that can operate independently with minimal supervision. The deadline for the submissions is February 23, 2024.

The NUPRC is the regulatory body for the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, which includes exploration, production, and transportation of crude oil and natural gas. The commission was established in 2020 by the Petroleum Industry Act, which reformed the governance and fiscal framework of the sector.

The decision to relocate some units to Lagos follows the recent trend of some federal agencies and departments moving their operations from Abuja, the administrative capital, to Lagos, the economic capital. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) are among the agencies that have already relocated some of their departments and offices to Lagos.

The relocation is seen as a strategic move to improve efficiency, collaboration, and proximity to key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry, which is largely based in Lagos and the Niger Delta region. Lagos is also home to the largest seaport and airport in the country, as well as the headquarters of many multinational and local companies.

The NUPRC’s relocation plan has been welcomed by some industry experts and analysts, who believe that it will enhance the commission’s regulatory oversight and performance. They also hope that it will boost the growth and development of the oil and gas sector, which is facing many challenges such as low investment, insecurity, environmental degradation, and revenue leakage.

However, some critics have expressed concerns about the possible implications of the relocation for the federal character principle, which seeks to ensure equitable representation of all regions and states in the federal government. They argue that the relocation may create a perception of marginalization and imbalance in the distribution of federal resources and opportunities.

The NUPRC has not yet disclosed the number and nature of the units that will be relocated, nor the timeline and budget for the relocation. The commission has also not commented on how the relocation will affect its staff and operations in Abuja and other parts of the country.

The NUPRC is one of the four agencies created by the Petroleum Industry Act to replace the former Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which was the sole regulator of the entire oil and gas industry. The other three agencies are the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), and the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission (NURC).

The NUPRC is expected to play a vital role in ensuring the optimal development and utilization of Nigeria’s petroleum resources, which account for about 90% of the country’s export earnings and 60% of its government revenue. The commission is also expected to promote transparency, accountability, and sustainability in the upstream sector, which has been plagued by corruption, mismanagement, and environmental damage for decades.

The NUPRC’s relocation plan is part of its efforts to fulfill its mandate and vision of being Africa’s leading regulator of the upstream petroleum sector. The commission has also pledged to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and innovation in its operations and service delivery.

Source: Business Day

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