Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) Monday welcomed the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill to the committee stage of the Senate, reiterating that the bill will boost the agency's efforts to create transparency in oil acreage awards and management of oil revenues.
"NEITI notes with interest that the bill has passed the first and second readings and progressed to the Committee stage at the Senate. The House of Representatives has also shown equal commitment by setting up a special ad-hoc committee to facilitate legislative proceedings on the bill," NEITI said in a statement.
"The passage of the bill will go a long way in enhancing NEITI's job of enthroning transparency and accountability in the nation's oil and gas sector."
The agency, whose audit reports on Nigeria's oil production and exports over the past 14 years have revealed discrepancies in records posted by government agencies and oil companies, said it submitted a memorandum on the PIB to parliament highlighting the need to put in place strong institutional governance and regulatory frameworks and in award and managing oil acreage.
The long-delayed PIB, designed to radically overhaul Nigeria's oil and gas industry, covers everything from fiscal terms for offshore projects to the reform of the state oil company. It has been on the legislative cards for three years but has yet to be passed into law.
Billions of dollars of potential investment have been put on hold, according to company executives, due to uncertainty over the outcome of the bill.
Nigeria's Senate rounded off debate on the PIB on March 7 and said the bill would go to a public hearing to allow lawmakers finalize the document.