President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday, assured that the draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which will be introduced by the National Assembly for consideration next year is not aimed at frustrating International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria.
Lawan, who spoke while receiving the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, at the National Assembly, Abuja, said Bill rather seeks to ensure proper regulation of the industry while creating a win-win situation for both the Federal Government and IOCs in the country.
If passed, he said the bill, which has gone in and out of the National Assembly since 2010, will boost the government’s revenue earnings, and enhance the much needed infrastructural development in the country.
He recalled that the Senate recently “had to pass the Production Sharing Contracts amendment bill (which will expectedly) give our country some more resources.”
That was done consciously, he continued, not merely to boost Nigeria’s earnings, “but that our International Oil Companies (IOCs) get more profits from their businesses. We want them to stay here but it should be a win-win situation.”
Nonetheless, however, he stressed that “much as we want IOCs to make profits from their businesses, we also want to get revenues from our resources.
“Going forward from next year, we will be working on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). That bill is for the petroleum industry in Nigeria to be properly regulated.
“It will not be a bill or an eventual Act that will put any business in Nigeria in jeopardy or disadvantage.
“It is going to be a bill that will give Nigeria a lot more revenue from the oil and gas sector to develop our country.
“We are going to be engaging the IOCs at the appropriate time to ensure that we have an oil industry that will be regulated properly in a way that makes both sides winners in that respect,” he stressed further.
Speaking earlier, the French Ambassador said the visit was to congratulate the Senate President on his emergence during the June 11 elections, besides further developing the relations between France and the Nigerian government.
He expressed the willingness of France to support Nigeria’s fight against terrorism, especially because “ISIS is a common enemy of France and Nigeria.
“We are ready to contribute to help Nigeria as much as possible in the area of terrorism.
“Many companies are willing to come to Nigeria to invest, but Nigeria must fix the problem of insecurity if Nigeria wants to have more direct investment,” Jerome said.
Photo caption: President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan (right) welcoming the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, during the visit of the ambassador to the National Assembly on Monday, October 28, 2019.