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Just-in: Petroleum Industry Bill passes first reading in Senate

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The 2020 Petroleum Industry Bill has scaled the first reading on the floor of the Senate during plenary on Wednesday.

The much-awaited bill was presented by the Leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, and was read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

Back story: DGN had reported on Monday when the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, clarified that the new PIB seeks to commercialize the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) rather than scrap it.

Sylva said, “We have heard so much noise about NNPC being scrapped but that is not being envisaged by the bill at all. NNPC will not be scrapped but commercialized in line with the deregulation move being made across all the streams in the sector comprising of upstream, downstream and midstream. We have said that NNPC will be commercialized. But if you are talking about transforming the industry, the only new thing that we are introducing is the development of the midstream, that is the pipeline sector. So we have provided robustly for the growth of the midstream sector. Through commercialization, the required competitiveness in the sector will be achieved.”

Meanwhile, the federal parliament had vowed to ensure thoroughness in its consideration, which according to the principal officers, would be treated simultaneously with the 2021 national budget.

Lawan stated this during a National Assembly joint leadership meeting on the PIB, with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

The meeting also had in attendance the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, and other heads of the NNPC subsidiaries.

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