Sunday, February 19, 2012

Okonjo-Iweala: FG’ll Ensure PIB Becomes Law This Year

This Day
18 February 2012

The federal government hopes to push through the long-delayed legislation to reform the oil sector this year as part of efforts aimed at boosting investment, so says Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

The minister in an interview with The Financial Times said President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration – elected in April – is keen to see the Petroleum Industry Bill passed into law.

The PIB which aims to overhaul the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, create an independent regulator, foster a greater role for home-grown oil groups and reverse under-investment is seen as a crucial part of efforts to render Nigeria’s vast oil revenues more transparent and accountable.

But the bill has seen slow progress since it was presented to the national assembly three years ago.

"In two to three months, I predict you will see fast progress. At the very outside, before the end of the year it should be law.

"We are aiming to have a balanced bill to ensure the Nigerian government gets its rightful share and oil companies are incentivised. We must have a bill in which Nigerians do not feel they have been cheated," said Okonjo-Iweala, a former managing director at the World Bank.

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