The Senate president, Senator Ahmed Lawan, has said Nigeria must ensure a competitive environment for business and investment to thrive.
Lawan made the disclosure at a retreat for top management staff of the National Assembly and National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja yesterday.
Consequently, he said the National assembly is working assiduously to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law before the end of the second quarter of 2021.
Senator Lawan, who described the bill as one of the most essential legislations that the country will have, said the assembly is taking its time to pass the bill because this is a very delicate and sensitive piece of legislation.
“We will take our time to ensure that what comes out of the National Assembly in the PIB is a product of legislation that will ensure that Nigeria earns its revenues from this industry as it should and of course also support our business people, the oil companies that are investing and in fact retain and encourage new ones to come to Nigeria to invest.
“So, it has to be a win-win for all of us. We will not be selfish as a country, trying to take everything. No!
Alluding to the current value of oil, Senator Lawan said almost every country now has oil. “So, if you don’t provide a competitive environment in Nigeria, oil companies will have no difficulty relocating to other countries. So, we will ensure that we have a competitive environment for business and for investment.”
Regarding the constitutional amendment, Lawan said, “The constitution amendment, of course at the moment, is not very warm because of the activities of members of the National Assembly on the 2021 budget but the two committees in the Senate and the House are already working behind the scene to ensure that as soon as we pass the budget, the constitution amendment activities will start in earnest.
“We believe that we should pass our amendments within 2021. Similarly, the amendment to the Electoral Act is going to be within that year 2021 to ensure that we don’t encounter unnecessary distractions.
“The National Assembly is working hard to see to the passage of the 2021 Appropriation Bill in the next three weeks,” Lawan added.