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Senate begins Production Sharing Contract Act amendment

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 on Tuesday.

It was consequently referred to the Senate Committees on Petroleum (Upstream) and Finance for further legislative work.

Senator Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP, Akwa-Ibom North East), the sponsor, said the bill 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 increases the share of government increases with the automatic inception of the newly introduced royalty by price mechanism”, Senator Akpan added.

Meanwhile, 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”.

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo (Bayelsa East) said in exhibition of the importance of the first oil field and the need to develop the foreign exchange earning tourism potentials of the area, the idea to build a world class museum of oil and gas was conceptualised, designed and foundation stone laid by President Shehu Shagari in 1953.

According to him, though the federal government removed the project from the National Commission for Museum as rewarded and domiciled 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.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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