President of the Nigerian Senate Ahmad Lawan has described the Petroleum Industry Bill as a “demon”, stating that there were agents working against it.
In a chat with reporters in Abuja, Lawan said that for the Senate to pass it, it would require the “strength of our patriotism”.
He said that when it was announced that the bill would be passed in 2019, people “didn’t want it to happen” because it had been stopped from being passed for 20 years.
Lawan said, “The PIB is like a demon. That PIB thing, there are people both inside and outside the country, who would work against it, but it is going to take the strength of our patriotism to pass it.
“In 2019, when we said we would pass the amendment to the Deep Offshore – Production Sharing Contract – people didn’t want it to happen because they stopped it from happening for 20 years.
“We said, we will try. The second day they came and said, if we do this (pass the PSC amendment bill), they would leave this country, because that will be against some interests.
“I replied: for once, allow us do something for our country. And I laughed, you are not going anywhere. The kind of things you do in this country, where else in the world would you be allowed to do it? So, we are going to do this amendment.
“They thought it was a joke. In a week, we finished the amendment. The House was on recess; the day they returned, they concurred.
“Mr. President knew how important that amendment was. He was in London, and that bill was flown to him. He signed it on a Sunday, just to give that amendment the validity that was needed.”