President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law long-awaited legislation to overhaul the oil and gas industry in Africa’s biggest crude producer. Buhari assented to the so-called Petroleum Industry Bill on Monday, a month after it was voted through by both chambers of the National Assembly, presidential spokesperson Femi Adesina said in an e-mailed statement. Buhari’s government is banking that the reforms will attract a greater share of global capital allocated to fossil fuel projects. The bill was first presented to parliament in 2008 and is aimed at removing legal and regulatory uncertainty that’s held back the industry’s growth. While oil contributes less than 10% to Nigeria’s GDP, it accounts for nearly all foreign-exchange earnings and half of government revenue. The economic-growth cycle is closely linked to crude output. Firms active in Nigeria, which include Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, secured some concessions after objecting to parts of the bill that was sent to parliament in September. Legislators lowered the levels of taxes and royalties originally proposed and decided that a “hydrocarbons tax” should not apply to deep offshore production.
SOURCE: BUSINESS DAY LIVE