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‘Nigeria’s parliament to start debating petroleum bill’

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Nigeria’s Senate president said on Monday that the country’s parliament would start debating next week an amended Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), a much-delayed plan to overhaul the vital energy sector hit by graft and mismanagement.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made it a priority to get approval for the PIB, which has been in the works for a decade. The bill is meant to change everything from taxes to overhauling state oil firm NNPC, environmental rules and revenue sharing, but its comprehensive nature has caused disputes among lawmakers.

Senate President Bukola Saraki said the House of Representatives and Senate would discuss the bill simultaneously from next week on to speed up its passage, according to a statement from his media office.

“The message from this is that the National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives, are working closely together,” he said in the statement. “For the first time we are both committed to work together as one to achieve results.”

He gave no details on the PIB.

Last month, state Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu told Reuters that NNPC was in talks with the Senate to speed up the process by splitting the PIB into three parts covering governance, taxation and business items such as oil block licensing.

[Source: Reuters]
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