▪▪▪As 10 bills scale First reading
The Senate on Tuesday commenced move to amend the Production Sharing Contract Act, following consideration of a bill to that effect.
The bill titled “Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019” passed the second reading, but President Muhammadu Buhari also announced to lawmakers, while presenting the 2020 Budget bill, that an Executive bill with the same title is on its way to the National Assembly.
Nonetheless, the Private member bill by Senator Albert Bassey (PDP, Amwa Ibom North East) has been referred to the Senate Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Finance for further legislative work.
It is not clear if the Executive bill will be harmonised with Senator Akpan’s but the lawmaker says his seeks to amend section 5 of the PSC Act to bring the provisions of that section into conformity with the generality of the provisions of the Act and into congruence with the intendment and essence of Production Sharing Contracts.
He added that “The PSC arrangement was offered by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a contractual arrangement for the exploration and production of petroleum in the 1991 licensing round.”
He explained that the fiscal incentives from the arrangement are distinct and absent from the provisions of the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Profit Tax Act which regulates the fiscal regime of other types of petroleum exploration and production arrangements.
Senator Akpan further stated that “the Act provided in Section 16 that where the price of crude oil exceeds US$20 per barrel, the PSC Act will be reviewed to ensure that the share of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) in the additional revenue is adjusted to the extent that the PSCs shall be economically beneficial to the FGN and that in any event, the PSC Act shall be liable to be reviewed after 15 years from its commencement in 1993 and every 5 years thereafter.”
“This amendment alters the royalty payable by the PSC contractors so that whenever oil and gas price increase the share of government increases with the automatic inception of the newly introduced royalty by price mechanism”, Senator Akpan added.
Meanwhile, the Senate’s Ad-Hoc Committee investigating a case of assault against Senator Elisha Abbo on Tuesday submitted its report to the upper chamber.
The report was presented during the plenary by Chairman of the Ad-Hoc committee, Senator Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North).
The Senate had on July 3, 2019 set up a committee to investigate Senator Abbo (PDP, Adamawa North) for allegedly assaulting a lady at a sex toy shop in Abuja.
The lawmaker was seen in a video clip which was widely circulated online having an altercation with the lady in question.
Abbo allegedly assaulted the woman for taking side with the shop owner whom the lawmaker had accused of insulting him.
The incident reportedly happened on May 11, 2019 exactly one month before the 41-year-old lawmaker was sworn into the 9th Senate.
Also, the Senate on Tuesday urged the federal government to give priority attention to the development of the Oloibiri Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum.
The call was made by the upper chamber in resolutions reached after consideration of a motion on “The need to ensure immediate commencement of the Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum, Oloibiri, Bayelsa State -Nigeria’s first oil field”.
According to the sponsor of the motion, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (PDP, Bayelsa East) the government under Late President Shehu Shagari in 1983 laid the foundation stone of the world-class museum after it was conceived and designed. The idea, according to the lawmaker, was to show the importance of the first oil field and develop the foreign exchange earning tourism potentials of the area.
According to him, though the federal government removed the project from the National Commission for Museum and Monuments and domiciled it with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund in 2011, the project still remains moribund.
The Senate, therefore, urged the Federal Government to direct PTDF and contractors to mobilise to site to commence the construction of the Oil and Gas Research Centre and Museum.
It also directed relevant Senate committees to carry out intensive oversight on the implementation of the project.
In another development, 10 bills on Tuesday scaled first reading on the floor during plenary.
The bills are: Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill, 2011, sponsored by Sen. Ajayi Boroffice (APC, Ondo North); Federal University Gusau Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (PDP, Zamfara North); Federal University of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Abeokuta Ogun State Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Ibikunle Amosun (APC, Ogun Central); NDDC Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019, by Sen. Barinada Mpigi (PDP, Rivers South East); and Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Bill, 2019, by Sen. Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North).
Others are: Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill, 2019, sponsored by Sen. Theordore Orji (PDP, Abia Central); Federal Polytechnic Orogun Delta State Bill, 2019, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central); Dormant Account Funds Management Bill, 2019, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central); Social Assistance Bill, 2019, by Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani (APC, Enugu East); Federal Polytechnic Silame, Sokoto State Bill, 2019,by Sen. Aliyu Wamakko (APC, Sokoto North).