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Petroleum Industry Bill Passes First Reading in Senate

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Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2020 on Wednesday passed the first reading at the Senate. The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, directed that copies be made available to all senators by Thursday morning.

The legislation has been in the works for the past 20 years, and the main laws governing Nigeria’s oil and gas exploration have not been fully updated since the 1960s because of the contentious nature of any change to oil taxes, terms and revenue-sharing within Nigeria.

But reforms and regulatory certainty became more pressing this year as low oil prices and a shift towards renewable energy made competition for investment from oil majors tougher.

The alignment of both chambers with Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party has also given the reforms the best chance of passage in years.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated this during a National Assembly joint leadership meeting on the PIB, with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timpre Sylva.

The meeting also had in attendance the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, and other heads of the NNPC subsidiaries.

Lawan confirmed that the document was transmitted to the two chambers of the National Assembly two weeks ago and that details of its contents would be read at plenary today (Tuesday).

He said both chambers would forward the documents to their respective committees for further legislative actions as soon as Buhari’s covering letter, which accompanied the bill, was read to the lawmakers.

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