The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Monday justified the current move by the Senate to amend the law on Production Sharing Contract in the oil industry. Lawan said “it has become absolutely necessary for us to do so as a country so that we can generate more revenues from our endowments.” He spoke while declaring open a public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019 which is being sponsored by Senator Albert Bassey Akpan.
The public hearing was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), Gas, finance and Judiciary. The Senate President said that the Senate will, in the process of carrying out the amendment, be mindful of the need to maintain a competitive environment for businesses to continue to thrive.
The Senate, he said, will also ensure that the Oil and Gas business in Nigeria remain profitable. The bill seeks to amend section 5 of the PSC Act to bring the provisions of that section into conformity with the generality of provisions of the Act and into congruence with the intendment and essence of Production Sharing Contracts.
“We want to attract more investments and therefore it is absolutely necessary that we engage in a process that we produce a win-win situation” for Nigeria and the business concerns in the oil and gas industry.
“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 Petroleum Industry Bill was first introduced in 2007 and the bill is yet to be passed in its entirety. Lawan said the National Assembly will this time around adopt a different approach to make the passage of the PIB a reality. “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,” Lawan said.