Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said that amendment to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act has increased remittances from the sharing contracts into the federation account from $260 million to $2billion annually.
He also vowed that “demons” frustrating the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) within the last fourteen years will be defeated this year by the 9th National Assembly.
Lawan stated this on Tuesday while speaking with journalists on his 62nd birthday celebration in Abuja.
He said the patriotic zeal used by the National Assembly in October 2019 to pass an amendment to the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act would be deployed for expeditious consideration and passage of the PIB already before it, latest by the end of first quarter of this year.
“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.
He said Nigeria had been losing billions of Naira before the Act was amended in 2019.
“Where we were supposed to be given $2 billion every year in the last 20 years, they were giving us $260 million. But from last year, after the amendment, it is $2 billion annually,” he said.
“Those against the move in 2019 even threatened to leave the country, but the 9th National Assembly stood its ground in getting the Act amended with passage of the bill which was assented to by President Muhamnadu Buhari on a Sunday in London,” he added.
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.
He said the main purpose of PIB, when passed, was to make the oil sector investment-friendly for both local and foreign investors with attendant economic gains for the country.
He also said with massive injection of public funds into the economy, Nigeria will soon get out of recession.
“The recession, we have been told by experts, will come to an end at the end of first quarter of this year.
“We have extended the implementation period of the capital budget allocation to 31st March, and that we run simultaneously with the implementation of the 2021 budget in the first quarter. So there will be massive injection of public fund into the economy, and that will bring the recession to an end,” Lawan said.