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Buhari signs Deep Offshore Act in London; exactly what does ‘private visit’ mean?



President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Bill amending the Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract) Act.

The President, who is on a private visit to London, disclosed this on Monday in tweets from his verified Twitter handle.

He tweeted, “This afternoon I assented to the Bill amending the Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract) Act. This is a landmark moment for Nigeria; let me use this opportunity to thank the National Assembly for the cooperation that produced this long-overdue amendment.

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“You will recall that in my 2020 Budget Presentation Speech before the National Assembly in October, I highlighted the need to urgently review the fiscal terms for deep offshore oil fields, to reflect current realities and to ensure increased government revenues.

“Now, a month later, we have together with the 9th National Assembly made history with the passage and the signing of the amended Bill into law. We will continue to work together to deliver on all our promises to ensure inclusive growth and enhance the welfare of all Nigerians.”

Many had wondered what the presidency meant by the president going to London on a “private visit”. Some had concluded it meant one of his usual visits to his doctors or simply holidaying.

But with the president attending to work matters while in London, it begs the question of what exactly a private visit means. Also, is a president entitled to such visits? Many will reckon that for transparency sakes, the presidency, and indeed the president, owe Nigerians some answers!

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