As at yesterday , the Senate passed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Oil Bill in addition to projected yearly revenue of $1.5billion.
Eyes Of Lagos gathered that, Senate also raised the penalty for defaulters of this law from N20million fine or one year imprisonment to N500million fine or an option of five years imprisonment.
This is just as the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had transmitted a letter requesting the senate to consider and pass the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts amendment bill 2019 for him to add assent urgently.
The President’s letter coincided with the Senate consideration of the report of Senator Albert Akpan Bassey’s joint on upstream Petroleum Gas Finance and Judiciary, Human Rights and Justice Committee on the Bill for final passage.
According to Lawan, Buhari’s letter reads :”Pursuant to section 58 of constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I hereby present the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts amendment bill 2019 for consideration and passage into law by the senate.
“This bill seems to reflect the current realities in the oil and gas sector as well as to secure increased revenue for the federal government to fund projected expenditure in the 2020 budget and subsequent budgets. While I hope that this bill will be expeditiously and favourable considered by the National Assembly.”
In his remark on Buhari’s request, Lawan said, “The bill that is conveyed in this letter of communication from the President has already received very expeditious consideration.
“We finish with the second reading, our committee; the joint committee on petroleum resources upstream, finance, judiciary and Gas have worked tirelessly and assiduously with the NNPC, Federal ministry of petroleum resources, with the DPR and of course that reflected the position of Government and we had an engagement yesterday which lasted from morning until about 8pm and we are taking the report of this committee this morning.
Recall that Senator Ifeanyi Ubah had on October 2 brought to the awareness of his colleagues at plenary through a motion on the loss of a whooping N7trillion to the nation’s economy through the multinational oil companies on the non-review of Production Sharing Contracts by the Joint Ventures Companies ( JVC).
Senator Ubah announced that the bill was co-sponsored by 27 other Senators, just as he informed the Senate that salient provisions of the contractual agreements between Nigeria and the affected oil firms, have not been adhered to by parties concerned which according to him, had bled the nation’s economy to the tune of $21billion, equivalent of N7trillion.
He said the N7trillion loss were revenues that supposed to have accrued into the federation account from shares Nigeria supposed to have gotten from the oil firms anytime oil price rises above $20 per barrel as provided for in section 16 of the Production Sharing Contract Oil .
Passing the bill titled : “ Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract ( Amendment) Bill 2019 “ for second reading Tuesday, the Senate introduced sections 17 and 18 into it for appropriate penalties against violation of section 16 of the Act .