Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, explained what transpired during the debates and eventual passage of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
President Muhammadu Buhari signed the law on Monday.
Lawan, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, spoke with State House correspondents after President Muhammadu Buhari set up a committee for the implementation of the new law in Abuja.
He said: “Everyone knows that the Petroleum Industry Act suffered a lot of hiccups in the National Assembly previously but when we came in 2019, both Chambers identified the passage of the law as one very strong, fundamental, critical and strategic bill that we must pass within the life cycle of this ninth National Assembly.
“And by the Grace of God we redefined the way to go about it because we would have learnt from the mistakes of the past on the issue. And what we emphasised and that worked for us to achieve what we did was to ensure that we work very closely with the executive arm of government right from the conception of the bill itself.
“So our oil and gas-related committees started working with agencies of government that handle the oil and gas industry. And we had this interaction continuously up to the point that the bill was finally presented to the National Assembly.
“Members of the National Assembly had taken the passage of this bill to be one legacy this Ninth National Assembly should leave by the time we complete our tenure.
“We want to make it very clear that everybody in the National Assembly, in both the Senate and the House of Representatives from all parts of Nigeria worked for the bill to be passed.
“The debates were, of course, very lively and sometimes even very difficult ones but that was to show emotive attachment that everybody had for the Bill to be passed. And we have passed the Bill by the Grace of God.
“This is one document that will benefit Nigeria as a country and its people. Benefit Nigeria as a country in such a way that, like the President just said, this is going to give certainty, create the legal framework that people, especially the investors, had feared was absent or inadequate. And that certainty will make it possible to have foreign direct investments particularly in the oil industry.”
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