Nigerian Senate passes the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill to split NNPC

NNPC

After 10 years of delay, debates and intrigues, the Nigerian Senate has passed a version of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law. It will see the splitting of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into three parts.

According to the PIG bill, the NNPC will be divided into three parts namely: the Nigeria Petroleum Assets Management Company, National Petroleum Company and the Nigeria Petroleum Liability Management Company.

According to the PIG bill, not less than 10 percent of shares of the National Petroleum Company will be divested within five years or its creation, rising to 30 percent within a decade.

The Petroleum Equalisation Fund would be created to “ensure efficient distribution of petroleum products throughout the federation” and also “collect and provide funding for infrastructural development throughout the federation”.

And the Nigeria Petroleum Regulatory Commission would oversee compliance with the laws related to the petroleum industry, including the maintenance of environmental standards, and carry out evaluations of national reserves.

The regulatory body would also have the power to grant, amend, renew, extend or revoke any license or lease required for petroleum exploration.

That power, in a previous version of the bill, lay with the petroleum minister but the governance bill passed by the Senate states that it transferred this to the Commission “to ensure separation of duties and provide for checks and balances”.

However, the bill has not addressed critical parts of the oil sector which include interest to oil companies and fiscal aspects of upstream projects.

The PIG bill did not also address yearnings of oil communities and what they stand to gain from oil wealth taken from their domain. The Senate spokesperson told newsmen at a public conference that other areas will be looked into and passed separately.

The PIG bill will require the assent of the lower parliament and the president of the republic to become law.

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