On Monday, 16 August 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Petroleum Industry Bill into law, potentially setting the stage for significant changes in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. I do not intend to provide any real commentary on the Act. I am merely providing a populace-friendly version of the Act that can be searched electronically.
Click here to Download the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (OCR Version)
Update (6-09-2021): Download Gazetted Version of the Petroleum Industry Act (OCR Version)
There has been so much talk in and outside Nigeria about the Petroleum Industry Bill. After almost two decades, Nigeria now has something holistic to govern the industry. While I would quickly note that public communication on the Act has not been the best, and might have led to some of the heated debates (e.g. 30% Vs 3%), I would leave the analysis to legal, financial, and technical experts.
My only issue with the distributed 253-page document is that it is inconvenient for an average person to read through. The Act was scanned and nicely made available for public consumption after it received presidential assent. I could not search through the document, so I used Adobe Acrobat DC to run Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on the file, then created bookmarks for each Chapter and Part. Hopefully, this would make it easier for someone looking for clauses associated with “gas” or “licence” to quickly run an electronic search rather than have to read through the entire 253 pages in search of those words.
Kindly note that a chunk of text at the bottom of some pages is unreadable. This is an issue with the originally scanned version. I have provided links to my annotated version and the original version, so anyone can see the fault is not with OCR.
I do hope that for future laws, government agents may consider providing versions that the public can easily skim through, while experts whose bread and butter depend on understanding the intricacies of the phrasings can sit and devour legislation in all their grammatical glory.
Finally, while the public, investors, workers, and other stakeholders continue to debate on the bill, we should note that much of what is currently being discussed are merely speculative. The Act still has to be published in the Federal Government’s Gazette, and while it contains a tonne of rules, the operational guidelines would still have to be drawn up by the Steering Committee set up by President Buhari.
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you need to keep moving”Albert Einstein
The words above might belong to Albert Einstein, but the interpretation is yours.
Image Credit: Facebook/Muhammadu Buhari
Update (6-09-2021): This post was updated with a link to the PIA 2021 that has been published in the Federal Government's Gazette. I have created bookmarks and made the gazetted copy electronically searchable.