Nigeria’s state-owned oil company is to be disbanded under a new law which came into effect on Tuesday.

The government said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation would be replaced by an independent company.

President Muhammadu Buhari said the Petroleum Industry Law, which was nearly 20 years in the making, marked the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the energy sector.

He said Nigeria had been running an oil industry governed by obsolete laws enacted more than 50 years ago.

The new legislation amalgamates about 16 previous laws and overhauls nearly every aspect of energy production.

OPEC congratulates Buhari

Meanwhile the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has praised President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Petroleum Industry Act.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Secretary-General of OPEC, Dr Mohammed Barkindo, released on Monday evening.

What the OPEC boss said

“I wish to extend my congratulations to you on signing into law the Petroleum Industry Act , which marks a significant milestone for Nigeria’s oil industry and a historic achievement for your Presidency.

“With the stroke of a pen, you have inaugurated a new era for the industry following years of legislative efforts to strengthen the legal, regulatory, fiscal and governance framework of the petroleum sector,” Barkindo stated.

He added that the PIB will enhance the Nigerian petroleum industry’s reputation, open the door to new investment and ultimately strengthen its position to meet the world’s growing demand for energy.

OPEC revealed that the PIB will enable Nigeria lift oil production to 4 million barrels and also maximize Nigeria’s natural gas reserves.

“In addition, these resources will be vital to supplying world markets with a broad portfolio of energy options, and support global efforts to alleviate energy poverty as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 7.

“The passage of the PIB by both houses of the National Assembly on 16 July and your act of signing it into law coincides with another significant milestone in our country’s history – the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s Membership of OPEC.

“This golden moment provides a unique opportunity to reflect upon Nigeria’s rise as a global energy supplier and partner,” he said.