Nigeria’s Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has alleged that there are forces within and outside the country trying to frustrate the consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
Lawan disclosed this to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
“The PIB is like a demon. That PIB thing, there are people both inside and outside the country, who would work against it, but it is going to take the strength of our patriotism to pass it,” he said.
The Senate President noted that it took the firm resolve of the National Assembly to pass the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Bill in 2019, and that the passage of the bill by the legislature caused an increment to the country’s revenue profile from Deep Offshore activities from $216 million annually to $2 billion.
However, he assured Nigerians that the same approach the National Assembly adopted in ensuring the passage of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Bill would be used for the consideration and passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
Lawan said, “In 2019, when we said we would pass the amendment to the Deep Offshore – Production Sharing Contract – people didn’t want it to happen because they stopped it from happening for 20 years.
“We said, we will try. The second day they came and said, if we do this (pass the PSC amendment bill), they would leave this country, because that will be against some interests.
“I replied: for once, allow us do something for our country. And I laughed, you are not going anywhere. The kind of things you do in this country, where else in the world would you be allowed to do it? So, we are going to do this amendment.
“They thought it was a joke. In a week, we finished the amendment. The House was on recess; the day they returned, they concurred.
“Mr. President knew how important that amendment was. He was in London, and that bill was flown to him. He signed it on a Sunday, just to give that amendment the validity that was needed.”