Nigeria’s much-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has “some way to go” before being finalised, according to a representative from a Nigerian private upstream oil and gas company.

Dayo Okusami, group general counsel at Atlantic Energy told the audience and GTR at DLA Piper’s oil and gas forum on Wednesday that the timeline of the bill has slipped again, further adding to investor uncertainty.

“Without a law in place, it will always make people nervous. What the bill will do is give investors the certainty that they need, and have craved for so long, when committing up to US$1bn in Nigerian oil,” he said.

The bill is being created to establish regulatory and legal conditions for oil companies and regulatory authorities in Nigeria’s oil sector. It aims to eradicate corruption in one of the world’s biggest oil producing countries to attract more foreign investment and increase oil revenues.

The PIB, which is scheduled to be presented to the National Assembly at the end of June, is still being developed, Okusami said.

In order for the bill to be passed, it first has to be submitted to Nigeria’s National Assembly, which then, along with the stakeholders, will approve it before Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has the final sign off.

According to Okusami, the Nigerian government are doing all they can to push the act through with pressure being added by Nigeria’s finance minister.

“In my personal opinion if the bill is not submitted to the National Assembly by June, then it will be looking like Q1 2013.”

The bill, which has been years in the making, will update international best practice codes and improve transparency laws.

The latest draft proposes that royalty payments have to be kept in the public domain, along with the profit taxes from oil companies. Additionally, it states that royalties and taxes will increase on both onshore and offshore oil production.

Okusami warns that signing oil deals in Nigeria may be challenging while the act is being pushed through, but the high returns on investments will be worth overcoming the challenges.

Once approved, the bill hopes to unlock billions of dollars worth of untapped oil investments.

Nigeria currently exports more than 2 million barrels of crude oil a day.