The former governor of Edo State and currently the National Chairman of ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole on Tuesday said that Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari can work from anywhere in the world.
Oshiomhole spoke when he led members of the National Working Committee of the APC on a courtesy call on the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and the principal officers of the Senate.
The Chairman of the APC has commended the commitment of the Senate in passing the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act (amendment) Bill, which was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that assenting to the Bill at the Nigerian House in London, shows that the President is on duty and can work from anywhere.
Oshiomhole said: “I was also excited to see Mr. President sign into law that Act in London. Again a couple of implication on this.
“That like you the President recognized that if you can manage it as quickly as you did and come out with such fundamental amendment that has such enormous impact on our national revenue, he as President also has to do the needful.
“I think by signing into law at the Nigerian House in London, it shows that the wherever the President is, he is Presiding over Nigeria and with the benefit of modern technology we have passed the Mongo Park era.
“So signing it in London for me has also made several statements. Namely, that where ever national interest is involved, the President is on duty and wherever he is he is presiding.
“I also salute his assenting to the Bill as fast as he did and even at the Nigerian House in London.”
He added that it was necessary to speak to the quick passage of the PSC law, because even though every Nigerian knows the problems of the country, “what is missing that level of integrity you require to subordinate your personal interest when the forces are unleashed and submit to national interest. It is this difference that I believe the National Assembly under your leadership across party divide has brought to bear. Nigerians ought to celebrate you.
“We are as party, we celebrate you, we celebrate the Senate, we celebrate our APC members.
“We celebrate the PDP members because we monitored the debate and there is no evidence that is any party divide.
“National interest was at play. We have have come to appreciate you and under your leadership the Senate would be a formidable national pillar that Nigerians can rely on in our journey to take the nation to the next level.”
The former Governor of Edo state however commended the Senate for operating a bipartisan legislature, party affiliations notwithstanding.
He singled out the Peoples Democratic Party and Young Progressive Party Senators for their commitment to national interest in the 9th Senate.
Oshiomhole said: “Usually when things don’t go well, people are loudest in criticizing, when they go well they take it for granted but we thought that this one is worth acknowledging.
“But perhaps most outstanding is the way the National Assembly under your leadership has passed into law the amendment to the Deep Offshore inland basin Production Sharing Contract that promises to increase the revenue of Nigeria substantially.
“Many of us are aware even while I was still in the Nigeria Labour Congress completely non-partisan, we know that there have been attempt to amend this law but the lobby group as represented by the IOCs, have appeared to be so strong that they have overwhelmed the National Assembly over the years.
“And I think it is in your credit Mr. Senate President that you resisted all those temptations.
“On a lighter note, I will say that when the oil companies come lobbying, the entire environment can be quite oily and you know to walk firm on oily platforms is a statement of courage, integrity, commitment to national interest and your will to ensure that you put Nigeria’s interest first before any other consideration. Including even individual temptation.
“And even on this issue, we also want to extend the same compliment to the PDP members in the National Assembly because we didn’t hear a discordant on this, including YPP – all the opposition parties.
“Where you have a clear Senate leadership that has the capacity to engage across party divide, issues are properly articulated that people can see that what is at stake is not partisan interest but national interest, it is possible to find common ground to carry everybody along.
“So that you passed that law under five months or so, under your leadership is a laud statement about what Nigerians are to expect and what you are already doing in the interest of our great nation.
“It is prayer that God will continue to give you courage, wisdom, and the skill to whip everybody into line to ensure that national interest take precedent over and above any other consideration and that you are able to resist the temptations arising from the powers that have denied this country the passage of this law over the years.”
On his part, Lawan said that the 9th Senate is working for Nigeria and will continue to work for the country.
He said that after the passage of the budget, the National Assembly will also prioritize the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill to block leakages in the system and ensure that Nigerians benefit maximally from the country’s natural endowment.
Lawan said: “We have a Senate today that is primed right from the start to deliver to Nigerians. We campaigned and said that we want a Senate that will work for Nigerian.
“This Senate works for Nigeria indeed. And this is just the beginning of what we intend to achieve.
“We expect that we pass the budget at the end of this year, before the year runs out but next year going forward, we have other very compelling and important and significant legislations – the Petroleum Industry Bill, we have a lot of revenue issues.
“We intend to look into legislations on the revenue generating agencies, the scopes of their mandates – we want to deal with these decisively and expeditiously because we believe that the Petroleum industry in Nigeria needs to have proper legislative framework to ensure that we maintain the businesses that have decided to come to our country.”
He said that the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have nothing to fear as the National Assembly would ensure a level playing field that would take their concerns and suggestions into consideration.
“They (IOCs) will have their day to suggest what they think it should be like but one thing is that we must ensure that Nigeria receives the appropriate revenue and rewards from its endowments.”
He said that the PSC Act when operational would earn the country $1.5billion at the prevailing oil price at $55 per barrel and that Nigeria would rake in $2billion if oil price rises to $60 per barrel.
“We passed the amendments to this Deep Offshore and inland Basin Production Sharing Contract.
“It may interest you to know that Nigeria receives $268million only before this amendment. After the amendment when the bill will start to operate, at $55 to a barrel, Nigeria will receive about $1.5billion.
“Going up to $60 (per barrel) it be close to $2billion. That is a monumental quantum leap actually,” Lawan said.