Puot urges NCAC to be apolitical while reviewing oil sector laws

South Sudan Minister of Petroleum has advised the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) to be apolitical while reviewing the Petroleum sector laws.

The NCAC is mandated by the revitalized peace agreement to review all national legislations to conform to the provisions of the 2018 peace deal.

The body met on Wednesday in Juba to review Petroleum Act 2012 and Petroleum Revenue Management Act 2013.

The Petroleum Act provides a regulatory framework for the development and management of petroleum activities and other ancillary matters related to petroleum activities in South Sudan in conformity with the Transitional Constitution, and for the establishment of a National Petroleum and Gas Commission such as Nilepet.

The Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) – on the other hand – establishes a formalized structure for distribution of petroleum revenues to immediate budgetary needs, savings and revenue stabilization, and direct transfers to petroleum producing states and affected communities

In his remarks, Minister Puot Kang Chol told the NCAC not to reflect individual party political interests while studying flaws within the existing laws.

“Do not look at it from the political perspective, look at it holistically because today – so and so will be here, but next tomorrow it will not be the same person; it will be another person,” he stressed, adding that “let’s detach ourselves as individuals, our political parties from the Act so we can develop an Act that will help us better govern the sector.”

Puot pointed out that high in the review agenda is the regulation of Nile Petroleum Corporation, the national oil and gas company of South Sudan. He also said the operations of the oil processing companies require reviewing.

“Contractors like DPOC, GPOC, and SPOC don’t do the actual jobs alone; they subcontract. Now (with) these people, we need to be empowered to do some work.” Puot stated.

He disclosed that the lack of proper regulatory laws for the service providers in the oil sector hinders government and citizens’ influence and benefits.

“For example, the company is contracted by SPOC. If they commit a mistake, we will not have the opportunity to go to the company direct. We will have to go through SPOC, and if SPOC has Interested in the company, what we want as the government will not be implemented because there will be a conflict of interest.”

The Minister further urged NCAC to help with their expertise in developing more intermediary petroleum regulations laws as required in the two acts.

“According to these acts, we should have more than 40 regulations. We have done some, but we cannot do the rest. With the help of your expertise later, if you can lend a hand to us to help us come up with the rest of the regulations, we will appreciate it very much because we need to do so.” Puot requested