According to reports, President Mohammed Buhari has finally sent the Oil Industry Bill to the Senate for consideration and adoption. The bill, according to media sources, still proposes, among other things, the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency. NNPC will be replaced by a limited liability company, which will be called Nigerian Petroleum Company (NPC Limited). The bill also proposes the creation of an agency known as the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission which will be responsible for the technical and commercial regulation of only upstream oil operations.

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The Petroleum Industry Bill (GDP) was first introduced to the National Assembly in December 2008. A presidential committee set up in 2007 to review the oil and gas sector developed this bill, which aims to increase the transparency of the NNPC and increase Nigeria’s share in oil revenues. However, the bills have become very controversial due to objections from international oil companies (IOCs) and Nigerian National Petroleum.
Company (NNPC). Therefore, the bill was never passed. Towards the end of 2015, the GDP was amended to speed up its passage and was split into different bills, including the BIP, to address the governance framework for the petroleum industry. The Senate Speaker noted that the plan was to speed up aspects of the old law that were not controversial while controversial areas could be put on hold. The two houses passed
the PIGB in 2018, but the president didn’t sign the bill until the time was up.

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In all versions of the bill, key themes that have consistently featured include; The ownership and management of petroleum resources, the functions and powers of the Minister of Petroleum, the establishment of the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NPRC) to act as industry regulator and the restructuring of the NNPC. According to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Timipre Sylva, this version which was sent to the National Assembly is a harmonization of all the existing versions from 2000 to date with the necessary adjustments to respond to the concerns raised by the actors of the ‘industry. One of those concerns was the recommendation of a single regulator for the whole industry, as outlined in the BIP, which was addressed in the current version of the bill.

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With over a decade of deliberation and revisions, it will be a great relief to all stakeholders if this version of the bill is finally passed. Currently, Nigeria is said to have one of the least competitive Deepwater fiscal conditions in Africa and is increasingly losing large amounts of potential investments to other African countries. Many stakeholders are convinced that new investments in the oil sector depend on the adoption of GDP, which would take a more holistic approach to solving the problems related to fiscal conditions, especially after the adoption of production sharing contracts. in the deep sea and in the interior basin (amendment) Bill, 2019 (bill amending the PSC).

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