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Minister Sylva says PIB will be shelved in parliament till next year

The bill scaled first reading in the Senate on September 30 and anticipation is high.

• October 7, 2020
Timipre Sylva (Credit: @NNPCGroup)
Timipre Sylva (Credit: @NNPCGroup)

The National Assembly has postponed work on the Petroleum Industry Bill to next year.

Junior oil minister Timipre Sylva said on Wednesday that the lawmakers have decided to put the bill aside in order to focus on passing the 2021 budget before January.

“What the National Assembly has told us in our engagement with them is that the PIB, which is a very important piece of law, is coming at a time when they will be considering the Appropriation Bill”, Mr. Sylva told reporters at the Joint Executive-Legislature Leadership Retreat held in Abuja.

“And you know that this Appropriation Bill will be passed before the first of January, so they have to focus on the Appropriation Bill at this time. I think that is going to delay deliberations on the PIB till the first quarter of next year”, the minister added.

President Muhammadu Buhari presented the PIB to the National Assembly last week after protracted consultations with industry stakeholders.

The bill scaled first reading in the Senate on September 30.

The bill proposes to restructure NNPC and create two new regulators as part of measures to reform the oil sector. NNPC will be replaced with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, but the government will still fully own this new company.

The new regulators will be the Nigerian Upstream Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority.

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