Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan has refuted claims that he was absent during the passage of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, on Thursday.

A press statement personally issued by him and made available to newsmen reads in part: “as a dutiful Senator representing Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District and the chairman, Senator Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, I was present at the session and made substantial contributions through a motion for amendment vide section 52 (3) of the Electoral Act.”

In the statement accompanied with video clips of the said plenary, the senator said it was “a clear case of absurdity and political shenanigans for anyone to run such mindless and untenable blackmail.”

“I wish to restate that I am not just in the Senate as a member but a very active one, effectively committed to the representation of my Senatorial District and upholding its interests at all times as well as that of my state, Akwa Ibom and Nigeria as a whole,” he reassured.

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Senator Albert added that his commitment to effective representation has propelled him to sponsor bills which have been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.

He listed some of his Laws to include “Amendment of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act for which has enabled Nigeria regained its lost ground from a whopping estimated loss of over $40 billion (Forty billion dollars) in oil revenue, Resolution of NNPC/Chevron Escravos Gas to Liquid Deal which gave Nigeria an instant leap in her energy sector and led to the reversal of the Joint Venture sharing ratio of 25:75 % to 60:40 % in favour of Nigeria and Chevron Limited respectively with a cost savings of over $6 billion (Six billion Dollars).”

The Senator continued: “as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream, I and my other colleagues in leadership of the Petroleum Resources, as well as Oil and Gas Committees in collaboration with same Committees in the House of Representatives have championed the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) 2021, which will revolutionise the country’s Oil and Gas sector and place it as a globally competitive industry and as a preferred destination of choice for investors.”

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He further highlighted that other bills sponsored by him are undergoing consideration in the Senate, namely: “The National Youth Employment and Development Bill, The Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan Bill, Constitutional Amendment to make Sovereign Wealth Fund, as a first-line beneficiary of the Federation Account, Federation Account Amendment Bill 2021, The Public Complaints Commission (PCC) Act of 2021 and The Gas Flaring Prohibition and Punishment Bill 2020.”

Senator Albert reaffirmed his commitment to delivering excellence in the senate, and appealed to his constituents, friends and supporters to disregard what he termed as the antics of political rumour peddlers and blackmailers, whose stock in trade is to pull down others.

The Senate had on Thursday, passed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 after a clause-by-clause consideration which summarily approved the electronic transmission of results during elections, provided that such areas are under the coverage of the National Communications Commission and approved by the National Assembly.