Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Senate has passed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act (PSCA) 2004(amendment) Bill 2019, which would enable Nigeria to earn about $1.5 billion from International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the country.
The amendment followed the reception of a formal request from President Muhammadu Buhari, which sought to amend the Act.
The bill was passed by the upper chamber after consideration of the report of the Joint Committees on Petroleum (Upstream), Gas and Finance.
The amendment fixed eight years for the review of the Act to accommodate the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and IOCs complaint that five years were insufficient to take certain final investment decisions
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, said the National Assembly made history with the passage of the Bill for an amendment of PSCA.
Lawan said: “We have done what could not be done since 2003 to date. Today marks a milestone in the history of the Senate, and particularly the National Assembly.
“With the passage of this bill, Nigeria will gain at least $1.5 billion in 2020 as a result of this amendment. The Senate will do more.
“I must commend President Buhari, who mentioned the need to amend this bill in his speech when he presented the 2020 budget to the National Assembly last week, and of course, we also received an executive communication from him.”
Lawan emphasised the amendment of the PSCA would create a level playing ground for the government and IOCs doing business in Nigeria.
“For the IOCs doing business in Nigeria, the amendment will not in any way discourage investment. We expect that they will continue to do business in Nigeria.”
“When we legislate at the National Assembly, we will always be mindful of the need to have a competitive environment.
“When we work on the Petroleum Industry Bill, maybe in January, we will ensure that it is a win-win situation for Nigerians and those doing business in the oil and gas industry,” Lawan added.