By Musa Adamu
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday disclosed that Nigeria now earns $2billion annually since the National Assembly in October 2019, passed the Amendment bill on Deep Offshore Oil Production Sharing Contracts.
Lawan made this disclosure when he hosted members of the Senate Press Corps in his Guests House in Abuja, during which he also said the National Assembly will deploy the same vigor with which it passed the Deep Offshore Oil Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment Bill) last year, to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) latest end of March.
Recall that the PIB has been pending in the Senate for about fourteen years now, even the split version passed by the 8th National Assembly, led by Senator Bukola Saraki, was not assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to the lawmaker, the demons frustrating the passage and Presidential Assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) within the last fourteen years, will be defeated this year by the 9th National Assembly.
“PIB is like a demon. People both within and outside the country, are ready to work against it as they have been doing for the past fourteen years but the 9th Senate and by extension, 9th National Assembly , will defeat the demon with the current bill before both Chambers.
“The patriotic zeal , sheer determination and unity of purpose by all serving senators across party lines , to do this latest by the end of first quarter of this year , will be deployed on the bill immediately the Senate resumes on 26th of this month the way it did with Deep Offshore Oil Production Sharing Contracts “, he said .
The Deep Offshore Oil Production Sharing Contracts Act , facilitated by the National Assembly in 2019 he disclosed , has increased remittances from the sharing constracts into the federation account from $216million to $2billion on yearly basis .
Accordimg to him , “for 20 years , foreign forces and local collaborators , frustrated efforts to amend the Deep Offshore Oil Production Contract Act , but got defeated in October 2019 with passage of Amendment to the Act by both Chambers of the 9th National Assembly with attendant financial and economic gains for the country.
“Those against the move in 2019 , even threatened to leave the country , but the 9th National Assembly stood its ground in getting the previously fraudulent Act , amended with passage of the bill which was assented to, by President Muhamnadu Buhari on a Sunday in London “.
He however assured the various International Oil Companies ( IOCs) , working in Nigeria that the PIB to be passed this year , will not run them out of business.
“The main purpose of PIB which will later become Act , when passed and assented to , by President Muhamnadu Buhari, is to make the oil sector investments friendly for both local and foreign investors with attendant economic gains for the country .
“Through it , required competitive environment will be provided for businesses to grow and investors made their gains as well as Nigerians getting values for their monies and government getting more revenues”, he explained.