Nigeria’s Senate passes oil governance bill


* Governance bill concerns state oil company

* Part of broader oil bill discussed for over a decade

* Governance bill needs lower house and presidency approval (Adds analyst quotes, details, background and bullet points)

Nigeria’s Senate passed a long-awaited oil governance bill on Thursday which the president of parliament’s upper chamber said would improve transparency in the OPEC member’s energy industry and stimulate growth in the sector.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill is one part of proposed reforms that make up the sprawling Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), aimed at overhauling Nigeria’s energy sector which has been hobbled by corruption and mismanagement for decades.

The PIB, which has been discussed for over a decade following several redrafts, is central to President Muhammadu Buhari’s reform plans because oil sales provide 70 percent of government revenue in Africa’s biggest economy.

“I believe not only Nigerians but investors in the petroleum sector are looking forward to ensure accountability and transparency,” said Senate President Bukola Saraki after announcing that the governance portion of the bill was passed after its third reading.

He said it would “create the enabling environment for the petroleum sector that would be necessary to further stimulate growth”, adding that he hoped it would attract investment.