Nigeria’s Minister of State for Petroleum provided an update at African Petroleum Producers Organization (APPO) Cape VII congress and exhibition last week concerning the progress of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (“PIGB”). The Minister confirmed that the PIGB is in the possession of the President and it is possible that presidential assent could be received by June 2019, when the 9th assembly of the National Assembly convenes.
However he also noted that if the Presidency requests for further amendments to the bill, the timeline for the passage of the PIGB into law would become unclear.
The delay in the passage of the PIGB and the uncertain legal framework that has resulted from this impasse remains an issue of most concern to foreign investors. The PIGB seeks to restructure the regulatory framework in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and create a ‘one stop-shop’ regulator vested with advisory, technical, commercial and regulatory functions, absorbing the roles, rights, assets and liabilities held by the Petroleum Inspectorate, the Department of Petroleum Resources and the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency.
The PIGB also aims to deregulate and liberalize the downstream petroleum sector, promote the development of Nigerian content in the oil industry and optimize domestic gas supplies, especially for power generation and industrial development.
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