Tayo Alasoadura, chairman, Senate committee on upstream petroleum, said the country hopes a long-delayed bill to overhaul parts of the country’s oil industry can be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari to be signed into law by the end of March.
The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is the first part of a larger piece of legislation, known as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), to pass through parliament.
The PIB, debated for over a decade, was broken up into sections to help it pass into law more easily.
Nigeria’s lower house of parliament in January passed a version of the PIGB which was the same as one approved by the Senate last year – the first time both houses have approved the same version of the bill. It needs the president’s signature to become law.
Alasoadura said, “Hopefully, by the end of the month, the National Assembly will transmit it to the president for assent”.
The PIGB would create four new entities whose powers would include the ability to conduct bid rounds, award exploration licences and make recommendations to the oil minister on upstream licences.