Edwin Akwueh, Abuja
Nigerian Senate and the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Deep Offshore Inland Basin Production Sharing (Amendment) Bill into law.
The new Act of Parliament guiding production sharing contracts between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the various International Oil Companies, IOCs , according to them, will fetch Nigeria not less than $2billion in 2020 as against $216million being remitted by IOCs over the years.
Tuesday’s Commendations on Presidential assent to the bill passed by both chambers of the National Assembly last month, came to the fore during a courtesy call by the National Working Committee, NWC of the APC on Senate leadership.
First to make the commendation was the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole who lauded the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan for rebuffing the lobby of the IOCs, and secondly, President Muhammadu Buhari for expeditiously signing it into law .
“We must commend you for rebuffing the lobby of the IOCs, that you put national interest first . it shows that when you have a Senate leadership that can ride above party divide, the issue of national interest takes the front burner .
” That you could pass that bill is a loud statement that your Senate places national interest above other considerations.
“I was also excited that Mr. President did sign that act into law in far away London. His signing it into law has shown that wherever Mr. President is, he is presiding. He did that in Nigerian House in London. We have passed that stage of Mungo Park where a president can only function from his base.
“We celebrate the APC, we also celebrate the PDP members. We pray and hope the Senate will remain a formidable national pillar that Nigerians can rely on,” he said.
In his response, the President of the Senate told the APC chairman and his team that the feat on the Deep Offshore Bill was a collective achievement of the entire Senate and by extension, the National Assembly devoid of party affiliation.
According to him, the passed bill which has now become an Act of Parliament, will fetch Nigeria $2billion next year as against $216million the IOCs are remitting to the Federal government on yearly basis.
“If the price of crude oil stabilises at $60 per barrel in 2020 fiscal year, Nigeria based on provisions of the amended law , will net in $2billion additional revenues as against $216million she has been making over the years .
“Even if the price of oil stands at $55 per barrel , about $1.5billion revenues will accrue to the country, “ he said.
Senator Lawan assured the visitors that the Senate was also determined to look at Petroleum Industry Bill next year for the required reforms in the oil sector.
He adds that the IOCs have nothing to fear but all must ensure that Nigeria earns the revenue it deserves.