Nigerian lawmakers are hoping President Muhammadu Buhari will sign into law the Petroleum Industry Bill by the end of March 2018.

The long-delayed bill to overhaul parts of the country’s oil industry was sent to President Buhari for assent after the Senate and the House of Representatives agreed on the  Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

On Friday, March 16, 2018, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, the chairman of the Senate committee on Petroleum confirmed that the bill has been sent to the president for hopeful assent.

Hopefully, by the end of the month, the National Assembly will transmit it to the president for assent,” Alasoadura said.

The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) is the first part of a larger piece of legislation to pass through the National Assembly.

The Petroleum bill, which has been debated for over a decade, would create four new entities whose powers would include the ability to conduct bid rounds, award exploration licences and make recommendations to the oil minister on upstream licences.

Earlier in January 2018, Nigeria’s House of Representatives passed a version of the PIGB which was the same as one approved by the Senate last year.

The lawmakers look forward to President Buhari’s final decision to make the bill a functional law enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.

This is coming weeks after President Buhari refused to assent the bill re-ordering the electioneering process in the country.