Nigeria planning huge overhaul of oil and gas industry
Unrest in the oil-producing Niger Delta region has been sharply reduced following a 2009 amnesty deal, allowing output to return to more than two million barrels per day.
Yet Nigerians fed up with oil pollution and the resulting corruption have long pushed for a fairer shake from the petroleum industry.
The new version of the bill grew partly out of protests in January that were ostensibly over gasoline prices, but which allowed the tens of thousands who took to the streets to vent their anger over a range of issues.
Amid the anger, the federal government of Nigeria pledged to move on the long-stalled reforms.
But activists say the current bill does not do nearly enough to address oil spills and a lack of transparency in the industry.
“We have to ensure that there is independent oversight of the oil and gas industry beyond what we have now,” said Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani, head of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Transparency International’s local partner.