President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Monday said that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to be introduced by the National Assembly for consideration next year was not aimed at frustrating the operations of International Oil Companies (IOCs) in Nigeria.
Lawan made this known when he hosted the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Specifically, the lawmaker explained that the proposed PIB would seek to regulate the industry to create a win-win situation for the Nigerian government and IOCs operating in the country, stressing that the bill if passed will boost the revenue earnings of government and stimulate the nation’s infrastructure development.
He clarified: “Recently we had to pass the Production Sharing Contracts amendment bill and that will give our country some more resources.
“We did that consciously so that Nigeria gets more funds 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.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”, Lawan added.
In his remarks, the French Ambassador said the reason for his visit was to congratulate the Senate President for emerging the winner during the June 11 elections and to strengthen Franco-Nigeria bilateral relations, adding that France is willing to give its support to Nigeria in her fight against terrorism.
The envoy said: “I mentioned the fight against terrorism 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”, he added.