President Muhammadu Buhari is in high spirits at the moment and it all has to do with a bill he just signed into law.

The assent of the bill which amends the Deep Offshore (and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract) Act, has been hailed as “a landmark moment for Nigeria” by the president.

The president used the “opportunity to thank the national assembly for the cooperation that produced this long overdue amendment,” and added that the new Act will translate to more money for Nigeria.

Increased government revenues

“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.

President Muhammadu Buhari signs "landmark bill" into law (Presidency)
President Muhammadu Buhari signs "landmark bill" into law (Presidency)

“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," he said.

President Buhari blamed politicians and oil majors who he said made sure to shortchange and sabotage the country in the past. 

“Nigeria will now receive its fair, rightful and equitable share of income from our own natural resources for the first time since 2003.

“All attempts to amend the law on the distribution of income have failed. Until today. A combination of complicity by Nigerian politicians and feet-dragging by oil companies has, for more than a quarter-century, conspired to keep oil taxes to the barest minimum.

President Muhammadu Buhari during a dinner [Bayo Omoboriowo]
President Muhammadu Buhari during a dinner [Bayo Omoboriowo]

“Today this changes. For the first time under our amended law, 200 million Nigerians will start to receive a fair return on the surfeit of resources of our lands. Increased income will allow for new hospitals, schools, infrastructure and jobs.

“Today marks a new and beneficial relationship with our oil company partners: one that benefits all – starting with the Nigerian people,” Buhari said.

The president signed the Deep Offshore bill into law in London where he’s on a two-week private visit. 

Crude oil accounts for over 95 percent of export earnings and about 40 percent of government revenues in Nigeria.