Nigerian president Buhari to send Senate long-awaited oil reform bill
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is said to have signed a much-awaited oil-reform bill, which will be formally presented in the Senate probably next week.
This legislation is believed to have been in the works for the past 20 years, and the main laws underlying Nigeria’s oil and gas exploration have not been completely updated since the 1960s due to the contentious nature of any change to oil taxes, terms and also revenue-sharing within Nigeria.
However, reforms and regulatory certainty assume greater importance this year as low oil prices and a shift towards renewable energy rendered competition for investment from oil majors tougher.
Additionally, the alignment of both chambers with the president’s All Progressives Congress party has provided the reforms with the best chance of passage in years.
President Buhari officially signed the bill last week, and his presidential team has already been trying to build support for it in the National Assembly.
The assembly has already selected teams of members who are expected to work closely on different portions of the bill.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have to approve it before the president can sign it into law.
Two presidential spokesmen decided not to comment on the matter and also the Senate had no immediate comment.
The Ministry of Petroleum Resources has sent the draft, which was the product of several months of consultation between Nigerian officials, oil and gas companies and other industry stakeholders, to president Buhari.
It is believed to include measures to encourage companies to develop gas discoveries as well as a framework for gas tariffs and delivery.
Commercializing gas, especially for use in local power generation, is a very significant government priority in Nigeria.