Nigeria's Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) was recently passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to President Buhari for his assent. The Bill proposes to reform the Nigerian petroleum industry governing institutional framework by amongst others, setting up an independent regulatory agency, unbundling the NNPC into two limited liability companies and setting specific policy roles for the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Energy Partner, Dr.
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), on November 3, 2017, jointly launched the first edition of the Compendium of Investment Incentives in Nigeria (the “Compendium”) which showcases all relevant and existing Nigerian tax laws to further promote the ease of doing business in the country.
The Nigerian mining industry, which remains a core sector yet to reach its full potential, has been beleaguered by the dearth of data on the various solid minerals available in the country. As a result, potential investors have little or no information required to make critical investment decisions.
Appreciating the necessity of an accessible data bank, on matters pertaining to the mining sector, the Federal Government, on Thursday, November 9, 2017 officially unveiled the Integrated Automated and Interactive GIS Web Portal of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.
The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report for 2018 titled, “Doing Business 2018: Reforming to create jobs” published on October 31, 2017 placed Nigeria in the 145th position, up 24 places from its previous ranking positions of 169th in the 2017 ranking and 170th in the 2016 ranking.
The World Bank Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies worldwide.
A major objective of the current administration is to diversify Nigeria’s economy and the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development (“FMMSD”) has been a key driver of this initiative.
The constitutional right of appeal and the well-entrenched principle of fair hearing are the foundation of modern legal systems across the globe. The principles as guaranteed under The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended (“The Constitution”) ensure that in the conduct of judicial proceedings to determine the civil rights and/or obligations of the parties brought before any Court, the twin pillars of natural justice shall be adhered to and applied by the courts.
On the heels of this announcement, the Corporate Affairs Commission (“CAC” or the “Commission”) introduced a new pre-incorporation form (Form CAC1.1) (the “New Form”) which consolidates the traditional incorporation forms and reduces the number of forms to be completed by promoters of a company from 5 to 1. The rationale as disclosed by the CAC is to “reduce the cost and time needed to register a business”.
Highlights of the Framework
Principles on consumer protection
The Framework formulates nine (9) key principles for consumer protection which include responsible business conduct , financial education, adequate disclosure and transparency, fairness, competition, protection of assets, data and privacy ,effective legal and regulatory structures, complaint handling/redress and enforcement procedures.
Nigerian courts had in the past held that motive which impels the termination of an employment is immaterial. For example in LCRI v Mohammed, it was held as follows:
An employer need not show any motive or give any reason for terminating the employment of his employee. Motive does not vitiate the validity of the exercise of a right of an employer.
The decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Rubber Research Institute of Nigeria v SSAITHRIAL has now changed that position, in which the court held thus:
Nigeria being a predominantly import based economy, is a key player in the international trade market, with an average of USD$52.3Billion in imports yearly. Accordingly, it is important that Nigeria operates within a robust importation regime.
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is vested by law, with the powers to collect and manage the applicable duties, taxes and levies imposed on goods and items imported into the country, as well as protect the integrity of the country’s territorial borders from smuggling activities.
The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change heralds a renewed global co-operation towards dealing with the issues presented by the changing climate. A crucial area identified by the Paris Agreement is the support / finance required by countries to build clean and resilient futures. This financing gap may be partly addressed by green bonds which serve as a means of directing private finance to fund climate friendly purposes.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (“NERC”) recently announced the lifting of its Suspension of the Regulation for the Procurement of Generation Capacity, 2014, which basically prohibited the Bulk Trader, the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (“NBET”) from procuring electricity in any other manner except through a competitive tender process. The suspension of the application of the Regulation was effective from June 2015.
Since our last publication when we reviewed Part Two and Three of the Petroleum Industry Governance and Institutional Framework Bill 2015, there have been new developments in this area. First, the Bill (now tagged the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 2016 “PIGB”) passed first reading after deliberations by the Senate. This new Bill largely retains the content of the version we have been reviewing, with a few amendments.
Since oil was discovered in Nigeria in the mid-1950s, coupled with the oil boom experience in the 1970s, oil income has played a significant role in the government’s revenue, particularly contributing over 9% to the nations GDP in the year 2015. However, due to dwindling oil prices in recent times, the Nigerian government is championing a drive to diversify the economy, with a view to ensuring it becomes less dependent on oil income.