Nigeria makes progress on long-delayed plan to share oil wealth

The Senate has moved forward a first piece of much-delayed legislation to tackle long-standing problems in managing the nation’s oil wealth, aiming to agree details for full consideration in just four weeks, lawmakers said.
The Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), stuck in parliament for a decade, aims to tackle everything from an overhaul of state oil company – NNPC – to taxes on upstream projects in a sector riddled with corruption.
The Senate, parliament’s upper house, gave initial approval in the second reading late on Wednesday to the draft plan to overhaul the state oil industry, a procedural move that allows the bill to move forward, MPs said.
In a draft seen by Reuters in April, Nigeria planned to split state oil company NNPC into two to help ease a planned stake sale in the coming years.
“The poor performance of the NNPC is a major concern. The commercialisation of the corporation and its splitting into two entities is for more efficiency and to enhance performance,” said Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who sponsored the bill.
“It (the bill) also provides for the establishment of a single petroleum regulatory commission which will focus mainly on regulating the industry,” he said.
The draft does not include the future fiscal regime and taxation for oil firms and the role of host communities — one of the most contentious aspects as militants and villages in the impoverished Niger Delta demand a greater share of the oil revenues it generates and more benefits from oil majors.

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