Senate begins amendment to oil production sharing contracts’ law

14

•Receives report on Abbo as 10 bills scale first reading

TRACKING> The Senate yesterday began move to amend the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act following the consideration of a bill in that respect.

Titled Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (Amendment) Bill 2019, the piece of legislation passed the second reading after an extensive debate before being referred to the committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Finance for further legislative work.

The sponsor, Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP: Akwa Ibom North East), said the bill seeks to amend Section 5 of the Act for conformity to current realties.

He said: “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.”

The lawmaker explained that the fiscal incentives from the arrangement were distinct from the provisions of the Petroleum Act and the Petroleum Profit Tax Act which regulate the fiscal regime of other types of crude oil exploration and production arrangements.

Akpan noted: “The Act provided in Section 16 that where the price of crude oil exceeds $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 five years thereafter.”

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan faulted the provision of the bill which increases the profit threshold from $20 to $35, stating that it was “totally unnecessary.”

Besides, the Ad-hoc Committee investigating Senator Elisha Abbo on an assault charge has submitted its report.
The document was presented during plenary by the panel chairman, Sam Egwu (PDP: Ebonyi North).

The upper legislative chamber had on July 3, 2019 raised the body to probe Abbo (PDP: Adamawa North) for allegedly assaulting a lady at a sex toy shop in Abuja.

The legislator was seen in a widely circulated video having an altercation with the lady in question.

Abbo reportedly assaulted the woman for taking side with the shop owner whom he had accused of insulting him.

The incident reportedly happened on May 11, 2019, exactly one month before the inauguration of 41-year-old lawmaker.

Also yesterday, 10 bills scaled first reading on the floor of the red chamber.

They are Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act (Repeal and Reenactment) Bill 2011; Federal University Gusau Bill 2019; Federal University of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Abeokuta Ogun State Bill 2019; NDDC Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; and the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Bill 2019.

Others are Nigeria Metallurgical Industry Bill 2019; Federal Polytechnic Orogun, Delta State Bill 2019; Dormant Account Funds Management Bill 2019; Social Assistance Bill 2019; and the Federal Polytechnic Silame, Sokoto State Bill, 2019.