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Nigeria: PIB Frontier oil exploration fund risks becoming patronage tool

By Ruth Olurounbi
Posted on Monday, 5 July 2021 18:14

A vertical gas flaring furnace is seen in Ughelli, Delta State.
A vertical gas flaring furnace is seen in Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria September 16, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

Nigeria’s long-delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), passed by the Senate on July 1, creates the need for effective oversight of the new funding mechanism for the development of oil exploration in frontier states.

The legislation, which has been in the pipeline for 20 years, is aimed at providing clarity and encouraging investment in the oil and gas sector, on which the government relies for about 90% of its foreign exchange earnings and 60% of total income.

It includes provisions to restructure the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into a limited liability entity capable of attracting private capital. The legislation also separates regulatory powers from the state oil corporation and establishes distinct regulatory agencies for the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.