Bill to revive Nigeria oil sector sent to president

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A new draft of an oil bill, years in the making, that is meant to overhaul Nigeria’s energy industry, was sent to President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday for approval ahead of a parliamentary vote in two weeks, the oil minister said.

The Petroleum Industry Bill’s passage is needed to unblock billions of dollars of stalled investment into exploration and production, but it has been stuck for around five years, as ministers and parliamentarians could not agree on the details.

Industry players say the PIB is needed to halt a decline in crude production in Africa’s top energy producer.

It includes plans to partly privatise and list the state oil firm, tax oil company profits at 20 percent for deep offshore and 50 percent for shallow or onshore, and give the oil minister supervisory powers over all oil institutions.

A new draft was finalised at the end of May by a team of senators Jonathan picked to try to hurry it up.

“I am pleased to say that the special task force on the review of the PIB has today submitted the PIB to the president,” Oil Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke told journalists at the presidential villa.

“Within the next ten to 14 days, the bill will be in the hands of the national assembly.”

There is no guarantee lawmakers will push the bill through, as powerful vested interests could block or delay it, as has happened in the past, although Jonathan being explicitly behind it gives this version a better chance than previous ones.

 

In : Energy

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