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Published on : Oct 15, 2015

The head of the national oil company of Nigeria has said that the country should split the proposed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into parts to avoid any further delays in reforms that have been caught unattended in the parliament for seven years now.

Emmanuel Kachikwu, the managing director of the state owned oil company Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., has said that as long as the country continues to want to pass a holistic petroleum law, it will continue to be a major challenge. The PIB aims at consolidating a number of oil and gas legislations and help make the oil industry of the country more transparent.

According to him, once the bill will start breaking into critical aspects, it will be possible to make a faster run at passing the bill. He was speaking on Wednesday at a Senate hearing that aimed at scrutinizing his suitability for a cabinet position, which is yet to be identified, that he has been nominated by the country’s president Muhammadu Buhari.

The proposed petroleum bill, which was presented in the parliament at first in 2008, was held up largely by political strife and objections by many global oil companies, which stated that the government was demanding a very big increase in its share of revenues.

The delays have led to a level of uncertainty that no international investor now wants to deal with and has cost the country investments worth nearly US$15 billion a year, said Kachikwu.

Despite being the largest producer of oil in Africa, Nigeria relies for more than 70 per cent of its fuel needs on imports. Processing plants of the state owned oil company operate at a fraction of their original capacity owing to factors such as poor maintenance and aging equipment