The National Assembly of Nigeria is targeting April or May for the passage of the highly anticipated Petroleum Industry Bill, according to an announcement by Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Monday.
After being sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari last September and passing its second reading by the House of Representatives last November, the passage of the Bill lost steam before the end of the year, but is picking up again.
The passage of the PIB has been delayed for two decades and faced further delays with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
Initially proposed by President Buhari in 2015, the Bill will see to the creation of a more effective and transparent governing institution, maximization of fuel production and regulation, establishment of a more competitive framework for the national oil company and creation of an investment-friendly environment.
Nigeria’s laws and regulations for its petroleum industry have not been comprehensively upgraded since the 1960s due to the difficulty in revising key policies like petroleum taxation, exploration terms and revenue-sharing agreements.
Earlier this month, Muda Yusuf, Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, urged the National Assembly to pass the PIB, stating that “…based on constructive cooperation between the Nigerian Federal Government and other stakeholders, host communities and industry, the objectives of reform can be successfully met.”