Reps pass major oil reform bill after 17 years

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Nigeria has moved closer to turning an oil industry bill into law after a 17 year struggle to complete the legislation which aims to increase transparency and stimulate growth in the country’s oil industry, Reuters reports.

Nigeria’ lower house of parliament has passed a version of the bill which is the same as one approved by the Senate last year. This is the first time both houses have approved the same version of the bill. It still needs the president’s signature to become law.

The legislation – known as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)- was broken up into sections to help to get it through. The House of Representatives passed the first part called the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) on Wednesday.

The passage of the first bill means that the government can move forward with new taxation legislation, which could make it more attractive for companies to invest, particularly offshore. The speaker for the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara said that NNPC would be unbundled into four new entities as a result of the legislation going through.