President Muhammadu Buhari has blamed politicians and oil companies for conspiring to deny Nigeria commensurate revenue from oil production and sales, particularly taxes over the years.
He said this on Monday after signing the amended Deep Offshore Act in London, the Presidency stated.
He noted that for many years, taxes were kept at the “barest minimum above $20 per barrel.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, in a statement, quoted Buhari’s as saying at the event, “Today is an important day for all Nigerians, particularly the young generation.
“Today, I signed into law the amended Deep Offshore Act. Nigeria will now receive its fair, rightful and equitable share of income from our own natural resources for the first time since 2003.
“In that year, oil prices began a steep increase to double, and at times, triple over the following decade.”
The President also said, “All this time, Nigeria has failed to secure its equitable share of the proceeds of oil production, for all attempts to amend the law on the distribution of income failed.”
He noted that rapid reductions in the cost of exploration, extraction and maintenance of oil fields had occurred over the 25-year period.
“A combination of complicity by Nigerian politicians and feet-dragging by oil companies has, for more than a quarter-century, conspired to keep taxes to the barest minimum above $20 per barrel, even as now the price is some three times the value.,” he said.
The President said for the first time, under the amended law, “200 million Nigerians will start to receive a fair return on the surfeit of resources of our land. Increased income will allow for new hospitals, schools, infrastructure and jobs.”
Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Mr Abba Kyari, reportedly witnessed the signing of the new law on Monday.