The long awaited Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), has been passed by the Senate.
The bill is the first of four bills that replaced the well-known Petroleum Industry Bill, which suffered setbacks in two consecutive legislative tenures.
President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who presided over the plenary on Thursday, said the lawmakers had broken the jinx of passing the bill.
“I congratulate the 8th Senate with the passage of this landmark bill which has not been passed for many years,” the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said Thursday.
The bill which has high hopes and broad reforms to the nation’s oil and gas industry was passed after years of hiccups.
The report on the bill, produced by the Senate joint Committee on Gas, Petroleum (downstream) and Petroleum (upstream), was presented on Thursday by Donald Alasoadura, APC-Ondo.
After a clause-by-clause consideration, with few amendments, the Senate approved the bill.
Among other objectives, the Petroleum Bill seeks to introduce reforms that would engender transparency, while at the same time making the oil and gas sector more business-oriented and profit-driven.
If eventually passed by the House of Representatives and signed by the President, the bill will restructure some organisations like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Department of Petroleum Resources, while setting up new ones like the National Oil Company.
The NOC, as proposed in the bill, will be an “integrated oil and gas company operating as a fully commercial entity and will run like a private company”.
The bill, which has spent years in the National Assembly, is to be sent to the House for concurrence before seeking presidential assent.