Nigeria's Oil Law Opens Door for Foreign Companies

ABUJA, Nigeria (AFP), Apr. 28, 2010

A new Nigerian law that gives preference to local service companies also guarantees fair access to foreign oil companies who want to do business in the west African country, the oil minister said.

Petroleum Minister Diezani Madueke said the new law has the potential to transform the landscape of the oil and gas industry from an importer of goods and services to an industry that sources major inputs for its operators locally.

"The Act sets out specific work scope that must be performed in Nigeria, guarantees fair access to foreign companies who want to do business in Nigeria, provides privileges for indigenous companies and creates opportunities for indigenes [locals] and foreigners," he said.

Madueke formally unveiled the law Wednesday to a gathering of local and foreign oil operators a week after Acting President Goodluck Jonathan signed the bill.

He said that until the government decided in the past few years to address local content, over 90% of goods and services used in the industry were actually imported from overseas.

Nigeria, the world's eighth-biggest oil exporter, relies on crude as its main foreign exchange earner.

Copyright (c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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