President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Mohammed Buhari, has signed the long awaited Petroleum Industry Act, popularly referred to as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law shortly after his return from the United Kingdom.
This was made known in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
According to his statement, “the President assented to the Bill Monday, August 16, in his determination to fulfil his constitutional duty. The ceremonial part of the new legislation will be done on Wednesday, after the days of mandatory isolation would have been fulfilled.”
PIB is expected to replace the obsolete Petroleum Act of 1969 and would provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the petroleum industry in Nigeria, as well as with the development of host communities and related matters.
The bill which was first brought to the National Assembly in 2008, has faced several obstacles but was recently passed by the Senate on July 15 and the House of Representatives on July 16.
Some contentions of the Petroleum Industry Bill include the proposed allocation of at least 30 percent of the profit generated by the proposed Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for the exploration of oil in ‘frontier basins’ which includes Chad Basin, Gongola Basin, Sokoto Basin, Dahomey Basin, Bida Basin, Benue Trough, amongst others, and also a 3 percent allocation of profits to the host communities. This proposal was earlier rejected by 17 Southern governors in a communique signed by the Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.