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Nigerian parliament set to vote on petroleum overhaul bill By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks over pipelines crisscrossing Ogoniland in Rivers State, Nigeria September 18, 2020. Picture taken September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde//File Photo

By Libby George and Camillus Eboh

LAGOS/ABUJA (Reuters) -A long-awaited bill to overhaul nearly every aspect of oil and gas production in Nigeria has been presented in both chambers of parliament, which could vote on the package as early as today, members of parliament told Reuters.

Legislators have been hashing out details of the bill since President Muhammadu Buhari presented an initial version in September last year.

The chambers are expected to begin voting on the bill on a clause-by-clause basis on Thursday, a process that could take some time for a technical presentation that is more than 400 pages long.

The key remaining controversies relate to the share of wealth for communities in areas where petroleum it is produced, and communities in the northern and central parts of Nigeria where there is exploration but no production yet.

A copy of the technical report submitted to parliament and seen by Reuters proposed the share the regional oil wealth that host communities can claim would increase from 2.5% to 5%. They had pushed for a 10% share.

The proposal also includes a string of changes sought by oil majors, including amended royalties for oil and gas production and the transfer of state oil company NNPC’s assets and liabilities to a limited liability corporation created by the bill.

Leaders agreed earlier this year to sweeten the terms for oil companies in an effort to attract much-needed investment in an era of shrinking global cash for fossil fuel production.

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