Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said President Muhammadu Buhari, can rule Nigeria from any part of the world.
Speaking against the background of President Buhari’s absence from the country since October 28 and his assent on Monday to the Deep Offshore Inland Basin Production Sharing Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly last month, Oshiomhole told APC’s principal officers in the Senate during a courtesy visit yesterday that he was excited that the President did sign that act into law in the United Kingdom.
The former governor of Edo State said: “I think by signing into law the bill at the Nigerian House in London, it shows that wherever the President is, he is Presiding over Nigeria and with the benefit of modern technology we have passed the Mungo 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 further stressed that he was also excited to see the President sign into law that bill in London adding that “like you the President recognised that if you can pass the bill 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”.
While applauding the Senate for speedy passage of the deep offshore bill aimed at shoring up the revenue base of government, the APC also stressed the need to commend the legislative body for rebuffing the lobby of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) who were against the passage of the bill.
“We know that there had 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. Even on this issue, we also want to extend the same compliment to the opposition parties – PDP and YPP members – in the National Assembly because we didn’t hear a discordant tune on this bill”.
“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”.
Responding, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan while welcoming the members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC to the Senate revealed that with the amendment of the offshore bill and presidential assent, there will now be a level-playing field for all stakeholders, including the IOCs in the oil sector.
“The 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 also added that with the amendment of the law