The coming prosperity
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- Create Date March 24, 2021
- Last Updated March 24, 2021
With the action by the National Assembly to improve the outdated Deep Offshore Act through legislative amendment, Nigeria has turned an important corner. As stated in his insightful, forward-looking commentary published in the November 1 edition of Thisday newspaper, Presidential Chief of Staff Abba Kyari rightfully asserted the financial provisions of the old law had outlived their stated purpose. Continuation with this outmoded financial regime enriched the oil companies while depriving Nigeria of a fair bargain. Billions of dollars that should have landed in our national coffers to fund public infrastructure and essential social services instead found residence inthe balance sheets of the oil firms.
This was no attempt to deprive the oil majors. We want the firms to make a just profit for their efforts; however, they have been receiving a surplus at the expense of our minimal developmental needs. This is not as things should be. The companies are Nigeria’s long-term business partners and we have no interest in denigrating them; all we seek is a fair, equitable relationship. The new amendments provide this.
The amendments demonstrate the important progress to be made when the National Assembly and the Presidency work in harmony for the collective good. Efforts by past governments to amend the law got bogged in failure due to the intervention of special interests. This time, finally, the national interests were considered weightier than the special interests of a few. President Buhari and the National Assembly leadership should be commended for this singular achievement.