Senate presents PIB to full chamber, to commence passage Thursday

Lagos — The Senate commenced the process for the passage of the much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, on Tuesday, presenting it to its full chambers.

Also, Senate president, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, said the chamber would “commence passage” of the bill on Thursday.

According to a Reuters report, Lawan said: “Every senator must have a copy today,” Lawan said. “We would be considering the report on Thursday.”

The Senate order paper also shows that the chamber will consider the oil overhaul bill on Thursday.

President Muhammadu Buhari sent the bill to the National Assembly in September last year. The senate package is the result of months of consultations between national assembly members and oil companies, local communities and other stakeholders.

The bill aims to modernise Nigeria’s petroleum industry and attract a shrinking pool of global fossil fuel investment dollars. Observers had hoped the political alignment of the presidency and the National Assembly would break a cycle of failure that has stalked overhaul efforts for 20 years.

But the House has not updated its timeline for considering the bill, and sources told Reuters the chamber could be a bigger obstacle to quick passage.

There are pending demands for big changes to the bill, including from community leaders seeking an increased share of revenue.

This week, national assembly leaders from northern Nigeria pressed for a greater share of oil revenue for “frontier” communities where there is petroleum exploration. Meetings with key leaders continued into Monday evening without resolution, and a failure to reach a deal with those leaders could scupper passage before the summer recess, pushing its earliest approval to September.

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