Petroleum Minister wants President’s office relinquish Nilepet affairs

The photo of Hon. Minister of Petroleum and Mining in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) Puot Kang Chol. (Photo credit; Daniel Garang)

By Ephraim Modi D.S

The Minister of Petroleum, Puot Kang Chol has accused the Minister of Presidential Affairs for intruding into the affairs of Nile Petroleum Corporation.

The Petroleum Minister made the statement on Thursday while addressing stakeholders meeting of National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to review two laws governing the petroleum and oil sector.

He said that the NCAC is working on an Amendment Bill to the Petroleum Act 2012 and oil exploration law to incorporate the agreement reforms, to the two important laws in accordance with the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

In his keynote address in the meeting, the minister enlightened NCAC members on Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet), saying it is being managed in the office of the President in which it’s supposed to be under his ministerial supervision, as per the Petroleum Laws and the R-ARCSS provision.

He further stated that the Petroleum Act states that Nilepet is to be managed at the Ministry of Petroleum.

The Minister also clarified the appointment of the Managing Director of Nile Petroleum by the President who is mandated to report to the Ministry of Petroleum, as his ministry take control of the Board of Directors’ sittings.

Mr. Chol said that his office is the line ministry in terms of coordinating, activities of Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) which the Presidential Affairs minister now chairs.

The Petroleum minister stressed that it has created mistrust in the accountability of Nilepet activities since the Managing Director does not report to him.

He said his ministry is only engaged in practical activities of Nile Petroleum Corporation to see the exclusion of the Presidential Affairs minister.

The Minister has urged the NCAC members at the meeting to reflect to other oil producing countries on the management affairs of oil, and how they were able to develop their petroleum laws that foster progress within the sector in the regulation of activities to avoid crimes.

The official advised the meeting to tackle the downstream sector in the current act for revision, which concern about the petroleum economics; that’s petrol stations, supply of fuel, refineries, and etc.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Central of Bank (Bank of South Sudan), Moses Makur Deng emphasized on drafting Petroleum Act amendment Bill that is in the hand of NCAC. He said stakeholders should reflect to the citizens needs

“Any review or changes that will be made, I think will only be beneficial if it returns back the reform to the South Sudanese to feel that this are South Sudanese laws,” he said.

The governor of Central Bank further said the current Act contains provisions that were imposed on South Sudanese.

Article of R-ARCSS ensures strict adherence to provisions of the revised Petroleum Act 2012, and the Mining Act, 2012.

According to a story making rounds on Global Witness, published on March 6, 2018 displays how South Sudan’s leadership uses state-owned oil company, Nile Petroleum Corporation, has fallen under direct control of President Salva Kiir and his inner circle, and being used to pipe millions in oil revenues into the country’s security services and ethnic militias with limited oversight and accountability.

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