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Nearly a decade after Nigeria first drafted its Petroleum Industry Bill, Nigeria’s Senate will be asked next month to discuss and approve the bill aimed at overhauling the governance in the country’s oil industry in a bid to stem corruption and mismanagement.
“We will break the PIB jinx soon”, Senate President Bukola Saraki tweeted on Thursday, retweeting a statement that the Senate will receive the final report on the bill on April 25.
“Barring any last minute changes, the Senate Joint Committee on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas), will on 25th April lay the final report of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill before the Senate for consideration and approval,” the office of the Senate President said.
The Senate petroleum committee will be discussing the bill at the beginning of April, and will submit it to the Senate on April 25.
The bill, according to Senate President Saraki, is meant to “create efficient and effective governing institutions with clear and separate roles for the petroleum industry”.
The bill is also aimed at creating profit-driven and commercially oriented oil enterprises.
Currently, the power is concentrated in the state oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to African Business magazine, the new bill proposes to break up NNPC, which has long been considered ineffective. NNPC’s responsibilities will be streamlined into three new entities, the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NRPC), the National Petroleum Company (NPC), and the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company (NPAMC), which will take over the upstream assets. The plans are that both NPC and NPAMC could be allowed to market oil to encourage competition.
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As oil revenues dominate fiscal revenue and exports, Nigeria has been hit hard by low oil prices and falling oil production, the IMF said in a report on the country today. Nigeria entered into a recession in 2016 with growth contracting by 1.5 percent, and if fiscal policies are not amended and reforms introduced, the outlook remains challenging. “Growth is expected to pick up only slightly to 0.8 percent this year, mostly reflecting some recovery in oil production and a continuing strong performance in agriculture,” the IMF reckons.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.