ABUJA, April 6 Nigeria's senate will debate a
long-awaited oil industry reform bill after receiving the draft
law on Thursday, the latest step in efforts to overhaul the
energy sector in Africa's largest economy.
The legislation is part of proposed reforms that make up the
sprawling Petroleum Industry Bill, which has been in discussion
for over a decade and redrafted many times but has yet to be
passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in May 2015,
made passing the legislation a priority as part of an attempt to
crackdown on the mismanagement and corruption that has held back
the country's energy sector. Oil sales account for two-thirds of
government revenue in the OPEC member state.
The bill's acceptance into the upper house marks the closest
it has yet come to becoming law, said Senate President Bukola
"I think we are all proud that we have gone this far and we
have finally broken this jinx," he said.
Once the senate has approved the bill, it will be sent to
the lower chamber of parliament. With the approval of both, the
final version will be sent to the president to be signed into
Its backers say Nigeria's oil sector is in dire need of
change, with power currently concentrated in the state oil
company Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the
(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Paul Carsten, editing
by David Evans)