(Adds quotes, details)
ABUJA, March 30 Nigeria will send its oil
governance bill to the Senate on April 25, a spokesman said 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.
"Barring any last minute changes, the Senate Joint Committee
on Petroleum (Upstream, Downstream and Gas), will on 25th April
lay the final report of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill
before the Senate for consideration and approval," a spokesman
for Senate President Bukola Saraki said in a statement.
The statement said lawmakers were expected to hold talks on
the proposed legislation on April 4 before submitting the final
report to the Senate.
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 and Alexis Akwagyiram; Additional
reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by David Goodman and Susan