BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan says proposed amendment of the current Production Sharing Contract (PSC) law in the oil industry will boost Nigeria’s revenue earnings going forward.
Justifying current moves by the National Assembly (NASS) to amend the existing law, Senator Lawan said Nigeria must work hard on generating more income from its natural resources.
“It has become absolutely necessary for us to do so as a country in order to generate more revenues from our endowments”, he said
Speaking while declaring open a public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019, Lawan said the Senate will, in the process of carrying out the amendment, be mindful of the need to maintain a competitive environment for businesses to thrive and flourish in the country.
The public hearing was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), gas, finance and Judiciary to receive inputs on the bill being sponsored by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan from Akwa Ibom State.
He said the Senate will also ensure Oil and Gas business in Nigeria remain profitable, adding; “We want to attract more investments and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we engage in a process that will produce a win-win situation” for Nigeria and the business concerns in the oil and gas industry.
According to him, “Let me assure everyone here that the national assembly is determined to pass this bill and of course that will be a precursor to our determination to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill next year.”
Lawan said the National Assembly is working on adopting a different approach to make the passage of the PIB a reality this time around.
“We want to see a situation where the Legislature and the Executive work very closely to have a PIB that will attract investment into the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.
“An investment climate that will be competitive; we know we have other countries who have this product, and therefore we have to be competitive, we have to have an environment where the businesses make profit.
“This is a journey that involves everyone. We want both government – and that includes the legislature and executive on one hand and IOCs (International Oil Companies) to work together to ensure that this environment we are trying to create is an environment that will work for all of us,” the Senate President said.
The bill seeks to amend section 5 of the PSC Act to bring its provisions in line with the generality of provisions of the law and into congruence with the intendment and essence of PSCs.
The Petroleum Industry Bill was first introduced in 2007 and is yet to be passed in its entirety.