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Commission supports review of Production Sharing Contracts – Official

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The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) says it is fully in support of the proposed review of the Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Dec. 13.

It said this in a statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said the commission viewed the move by the Federal Government as a welcome and commendable development.

The commission, which has the constitutional responsibility of monitoring revenue accruals into and disbursement from the Federation Account, has consistently called for the review of the contracts for the past seven years.

It added that the contracts had not been reviewed nine years after both conditions stipulated in the relevant provision of the Act had elapsed.

The situation led to the huge revenue loss of about 21 billion dollars in the last 20 years as recently revealed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

It said that Kachikwu recently announced that the government had approved steps to amend Section 17 of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1999.

The Act specifically provides that the 1993 PSCs should be reviewed, once the price of crude oil exceeds 20 dollars per barrel or 15 years after the contracts.

“To this end, the commission advised that government should take appropriate steps to ensure the review of these agreements with due diligence.

“Similarly, RMAFC recalls that in April, 2016, it drew the attention of government to the fact that three main contract types namely Joint Venture, Production Sharing and Service Contracts were in use in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.

“Having carefully examined the fiscal terms of each contract and the associated revenue inflow into the federation account therefrom, the commission lamented that the PSCs as represented by the 1993 PSCs which should have been renegotiated as far back as 2008, has yet to be done.

“This, causes the federation revenue losses due to the unfavourable terms of the contracts.”

It also stated that related to the non-review of the PSCs was the low Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Royalty Regime stipulated in the Act which are disadvantageous to the country, compared to what was obtainable in the Joint Venture Contracts (JVCs).

“The PPT in the 1993 PSCs is put at 50 per cent flat rate whereas in the JVCs it ranges from 85 per cent to 65 per cent.

The Royalty Rate in the PSCs ranges from zero per cent to eight per cent, depending on the water depth for the PSCs while in the JVCs, it ranges from shallow 18 per cent and onshore 20 per cent respectively,” it added.

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Nigeria records 500% increase in COVID-19 infections, in 2 weeks, says NCDC

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Nigeria recorded a 500 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country.

This is contained in a statement issued and signed by the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in Abuja.

Adetifa attributed the 500 per cent increase in infections in the country to the COVID-19 Delta and Omicron variants.

“As of Dec. 19, Nigeria reported 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The country is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as NCDC and its partners, are therefore intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of the risk we face and need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus.

“The response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Therefore, individuals, families and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures,” he explained.

He also disclosed that the NCDC was launching its yuletide season campaign themed #CelebrateResponsibly as part of the #TakeResponsibility campaign which began in February 2020.

“#CelebrateResponsibly focuses specifically on measures Nigerians need to take to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19 during this period.

“The #CelebrateResponsibly campaign targets the entertainment industry, transport industry, religious settings, media, security personnel, young people, and the general public to promote adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures during this festive period,” he added.

He urged Nigerians to adhere to recommended measures by the agency and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.

“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation.

“We strongly recommend outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of facemasks, and provision of handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers.

“Please make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” he advised.

The NCDC boss noted that the government had made the COVID-19 vaccines available for all eligible citizens and booster doses available for those previously vaccinated.

The Celebrate Responsibly campaign which spans from the Christmas holiday through to the start of the new year, he said, emphasises the responsibility of all Nigerians, the government, private sector, institutions, associations, communities, families and individuals in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Religious leaders and heads of institutions, organisations and businesses, he added, are urged to enforce public compliance to COVID-19 preventive measures in their jurisdiction.

“COVID-19 continues to threaten the lives and the livelihoods of Nigerians therefore we must not let our guards down this festive season.

“We urge Nigerians to take all precautions necessary to ensure we and our loved ones live to celebrate many more events and festivities.

“The campaign includes the production of key messages, audio and visual materials for wide dissemination.

“The NCDC urges all individuals, traditional and religious leaders, business owners, the media, transport workers and other institutions and sectors to join the campaign by adopting the key messages and sharing within their networks,” he said.

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Nigeria records three more cases of Omicron variant, total now six

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Tuesday announced the discovery of three additional cases of the Omicron variant in the country.

The agency had on Wednesday detected the first three cases of the variant. With Tuesday’s discovery, the total number of the omicron variant cases in Nigeria stands at six.

Last week, Canada after it said it detected three cases with travel history to Nigeria, banned travellers from the country.

Also, on Saturday the United Kingdom placed a travel ban on Nigeria following the discovery of 21 Omicron cases with travel history to Nigeria.

On Tuesday, the NCDC, in a statement signed by its Director General, Ifedayo Adetifa stated that three additional cases of the variant had been discovered.

He said, “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed three more cases of COVID-19 with the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, i.e., the Omicron variant, in Nigeria. In addition to the three cases announced earlier on 1st December 2021, this brings the total number of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant detected in Nigeria to six .”

The NCDC also added that it had been notified by the UK of seven cases of the omicron variant which were linked to passengers from Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum has condemned the stigmatization of Nigeria by the United kingdom and Canada by placing travel ban on the country, describing it as precipitate, unfair and discriminatory.

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Omicron: Canada issues travel ban on Nigeria, others

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Canadian authorities have issued a travel ban on Nigeria in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The announcement was made on Tuesday December 30. Other countries affected by the travel ban include South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt.

Canadian Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, has said foreign nationals who had been to these countries in the previous 14 days would be temporarily banned from entering Canada.

Alghabra added that Canadians and permanent residents who have been in the 10 countries, even those who are fully vaccinated, must also be tested before entering Canada.

This is coming as the Nigeria Center for Disease and Control (NCDC) announced that two cases of Omicron variant had been detected in the country.

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