Published On: Mon, Oct 23rd, 2017

Reps aims to pass oil bill by mid-2018 – lawmaker

Nigeria’s lower chamber aims to pass the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which seeks to overhaul the West African nation’s energy sector, in the second quarter of 2018, a lawmaker said on Monday.

The sprawling bill, discussed for over 10 years following several redrafts and covering issues ranging from the state oil company’s breakup to taxation, seeks to address problems that have beset the OPEC member for decades. Oil sales provide 70 percent of government revenue in Africa’s biggest economy.

It was broken into separate parts to help quicken debate. The governance bill was passed by the upper house in May and needs approval from the House of Representatives before being passed to the president, who would sign it into law.

Akinlaja Joseph, chairman of the Petroleum Resources Committee (Downstream) in the House of Representatives, said lawmakers aimed to pass all three parts of the bill at the same time.

“Our target is the second quarter of 2018,” he said on the sidelines of a conference in the commercial capital, Lagos. “We want to pass all three together,” he said, referring to the governance, fiscal and community bills that make up the PIB.

Passing the PIB is central to President Muhammadu Buhari’s reform plans. Its backers say Nigeria’s oil sector has been hobbled by mismanagement.