Nigeria drafting oil reform bill “from scratch” to pass this year – Senate president

LAGOS, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s legislature has begun consulting with the president to draft “from scratch” a bill overhauling the nation’s petroleum sector and will aim to pass it by the end of 2020, the Senate president said on Wednesday.

The government of Africa’s largest oil-producing nation has been trying to pass sprawling legislation on the sector, governing everything from taxation to relations with the oil-producing regions in the Delta, for more than a decade.

Senate President Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan said on Twitter that he was confident a bill would be passed by both chambers and sent to the president before the end of the year.

The presidency and both chambers of parliament have been in the hands of the same party since elections last February, potentially smoothing passage of the legislation.

“We believe that this time around, the ninth National Assembly will break the jinx and should be able to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill,” he said.

Oil companies have said an overhaul this year is key to enabling investment in the sector, particularly after Nigeria passed another law increasing the government’s take from deep offshore fields. (Reporting By Libby George; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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