President Muhammadu Buhari can work from anywhere in the world, All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole declared on Tuesday.
Oshiomhole spoke when he led members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party on a visit to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and principal officers of the Senate.
The President is on a two-week private visit to London where at the weekend, he signed a bill into law.
The party chairman praised the commitment of the Senate to passing the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act (amendment) Bill, which the President signed.
According to him, assenting the Bill at the Nigerian House in London is evidence that the President is on duty and can work from anywhere.
Oshiomhole said: “I was also excited to see Mr President sign the Bill in London. Again, a couple of implication on this.
“That like you (the Senate), the President recognised that if you can manage it as quickly as you did and come out with such fundamental amendment that has such enormous impact on our national revenue, he, as President also has to do the needful.
“I think by signing the Bill into law at the Nigerian House in London, it shows that where the President is, he is Presiding over Nigeria and with the benefit of modern technology. We have passed the Mongo Park era.
“So, signing it in London for me has also made several statements. Namely, that where ever national interest is involved, the President is on duty and wherever he is he is presiding.
“I also salute his assenting to the Bill as fast as he did.”
Comending the Senate, he said: “What is missing, that level of integrity you require to subordinate your interest when the forces are unleashed and submit to the national interest. It is this difference that I believe the National Assembly under your leadership across the party divide has brought to bear. Nigerians ought to celebrate you.
“We as a party, we celebrate you, we celebrate the Senate, we celebrate our APC members.
“We celebrate the PDP members because we monitored the debate and there is no evidence that there is division.
“National interest was at play. We have come to appreciate you and under your leadership, the Senate would be a formidable national pillar that Nigerians can rely on in our journey to take the nation to the next level.”
The former Edo State Governor commended the bipartisan legislature, saying party affiliations did not matter during the passage of the bill.
Oshiomhole said: “Usually when things don’t go well, people are loudest in criticizing. When they go well, they take it for granted but we believe that this one is worth acknowledging.
“But perhaps most outstanding is the way the National Assembly under your leadership has passed into law the amendment to the Deep Offshore inland basin Production Sharing Contract that promises to increase the revenue of Nigeria substantially.
“Many of us are aware, we know that there have been attempt to amend this law but the lobby group as represented by the IOCs, have appeared to be so strong that they have overwhelmed the National Assembly over the years.
“And I think it is to your credit Mr Senate President that you resisted all those temptations.
“On a lighter note, I will say that when the oil companies come lobbying, the entire environment can be quite oily and you know to walk firm on oily platforms is a statement of courage, integrity, commitment to national interest and your will to ensure that you put Nigeria’s interest first before any other consideration.
“Where you have a clear Senate leadership that can engage across the party divide, issues are properly articulated that people can see that what is at stake is not partisan interest but national interest, it is possible to find common ground to carry everybody along.
“That you passed that law under five months or so, under your leadership is a loud statement about what Nigerians are to expect and what you are already doing in the interest of our great nation.”
Lawan said the ninth Senate is working for Nigeria and will continue to work for the country.
He said after the passage of the budget, the National Assembly will prioritize the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill to block leakages in the system and ensure that Nigerians benefit maximally from the country’s natural endowment.
Lawan said: “We have a Senate today that is primed right from the start to deliver to Nigerians. We campaigned and said that we want a Senate that will work for Nigeria.
“This Senate works for Nigeria indeed. And this is just the beginning of what we intend to achieve.
“We expect that we pass the budget before the year runs out but next year going forward, we have other very compelling and important and significant legislations – the Petroleum Industry Bill – we have a lot of revenue issues.
“We intend to look into legislations on the revenue-generating agencies, the scopes of their mandates – we want to deal with these decisively and expeditiously because we believe that the Petroleum industry in Nigeria needs to have the proper legislative framework to ensure that we maintain the businesses that have decided to come to our country.”
He said the International Oil Companies (IOCs) have nothing to fear as the National Assembly would ensure a level – playing field that would take their concerns and suggestions into consideration.
“They (IOCs) will have their day to suggest what they think it should be like but one thing is that we must ensure that Nigeria receives the appropriate revenue and rewards from its endowments.”
He said the PSC Act when operational would earn the country $1.5billion at the prevailing oil price at $55 per barrel and that Nigeria would rake in $2billion if the oil price rises to $60 per barrel.
“We passed the amendments to this Deep Offshore and inland Basin Production Sharing Contract.
“It may interest you to know that Nigeria received $268million only before this amendment. After the amendment when the Act will start to operate, at $55 to a barrel, Nigeria will receive about $1.5billion.
“Going up to $60 (per barrel) it is close to $2billion. That is a monumental quantum leap actually,” Lawan said.