OrderPaperToday – Activities at the National Assembly this week will revolve around the presentation of the budget in record time and also the review of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act. Delays in reviewing the latter has reportedly cost the country $21 billion over the last two decades.

2020 Budget Presentation:  The highlight of the week is the scheduled presentation of the 2020 budget by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, 8th October, 2019 at 2pm. Tuesday’s presentation will take place in the green chamber of the National Assembly and marks the earliest presentation of the budget under the current administration. This week’s expected submission of the Appropriation Bill provides hope for the return to a January to December budget cycle provided the National Assembly keeps to its promise by passing the budget before embarking on its annual Christmas break in December.

The budget will be read for the first time on Tuesday before debate commences on the document in subsequent legislative days.

PSC Act review: The long overdue passage of an amendment to the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act is finally on the horizon following the first reading of the Amendment Bill last Thursday in the Senate. Legislative work will continue on the Bill this week and will be passed by the Senate on Thursday or early next week.

Section 16 of the current PSC Act provides that where the price of crude oil exceeds US$20 per barrel, the 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 may be reviewed after 15 years from its commencement in 1993 and every 5 years thereafter.

Nevertheless, since the Act became effective 26 years ago, it has not been reviewed despite oil prices rising far above the $20 per barrel leading to a revenue loss of $21 billion according to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra) who sponsored a motion on the matter last Wednesday.

The aim of the current amendment process in the National Assembly is to identify the best fiscal regime for the PSCs and review the provisions of the PSC Act to ensure that beyond the crude oil price of US$20, the share of the Federal Government in the additional revenue is adjusted in accordance with the provisions of the Act.


Editor’s Note:

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