Presidential Assent To Deep Offshore Amendment Bill: Better Late Than Never
By Rabi’u Musa
The hold back of about 11 years for the Nigerian to amend the controversial Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act (DOIBPSC) which made the country to lose about $62 billion has made Nigerians to almost loss hope in it. But if there’s life, hope must continue to exist.
Though, the law should have been reviewed by the Yaradua administration in 2008, Nigerian authorities did not pay much attention to it and allowed the oil companies to be going away with 80 per cent of the deep offshore oil while Nigeria is left with only 20 per cent.
Who do we blame for this negligence? It’s such a contradiction as to how the authorities failed to save about the sum of about $62 billion in the last 11 years from the oil companies.
It came as a surprise how the 9th National Assembly, codenamed as “Rubber Stamp” amended the PSC Act within 21 days despite the cumbersome procedures involved. This has generated a lot imbroglio as to whether it’s a direct coup to oil companies and might lead to their relocation to other countries.
But where, when and how can a lawful business and amendment of an act accrue more revenue to Nigeria becomes a coup against the oil companies?
Hope started to glitter for Nigerians last week Monday, when President Muhammad Buhari took to his official Twitterhandle @MBuhari to announce while in London that “Today I signed into law the amended Deep Offshore Act.
This is a great achievement to Nigeria and Nigerians as we will be getting a reasonable and equitable share of the Deep offshore oil from the oil companies.
Even when the President failed to review the term as at when due, Nigeria still appreciates his courage and determination in fighting for national interest. The office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami SAN should strive to recover the $62 billion from the International oil companies as revenue arrears to Nigeria.
The money should be used judiciously to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the said money and at the levels.
Rabiu Musa is a Student of the Department of Information and Media Studies-Bayero University Kano.