Amendment Of Production Sharing Contract Bill Will Generate More Revenue, Says Lawan

Photo: @SPNigeria Twitter Handle

 

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan has said that the current move by the Senate to amend the bill on Production Sharing Contract in the oil and gas industry is aimed at generating more revenues from Nigeria’s endowment.

Lawan in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Ola Awoniyi, added that the move has become necessary and the process will create a way for the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill in 2020.

The Senate President spoke while declaring open a public hearing on the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 2004 (amendment) Bill 2019 which was convened jointly by the Senate committees on Petroleum (upstream), Gas, finance, and Judiciary.

“It has become absolutely necessary for us to do so as a country so that we can generate more revenues from our endowments.

“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.

READ ALSO: Reps Call For Reforms In Judiciary

Lawan said that the PIB which was first introduced in 2007 and is yet to be passed will have a different dimension that will aid its 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 a profit.

“This is a journey that involves everyone.  We want both governments – 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 added.

He explained that the Senate has resolved to ensure that the Oil and Gas business in Nigeria remain profitable and are mindful of the need to maintain a competitive environment for businesses to continue to thrive.

Wike Seeks Passage Of PIB With Host Communities Component

Wike Seeks Passage Of PIB With Host Communities Component
File photo: Nyesom Wike

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, says the passage of the Host Communities Bill aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will give oil producing communities a sense of belonging.

He said this on Wednesday when he received a delegation of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Industry Bill at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Governor Wike was optimistic about the gains of the bill that when passed, it would address the challenges faced by oil producing communities, especially in the southern region of the country.

“This is an important aspect of the Petroleum Industry Bill as it concerns the host communities. The host communities will become a component part of the entire process.

“The oil producing communities are bedevilled by all kinds of environmental challenges. The passage of the host communities bill will give them a sense of belonging,” he said.

The governor further highlighted that the passage of the bill would enhance the security of petroleum pipelines because of the involvement of the host communities in the production process.

According to him, setting aside a certain percentage of funds for the development of host communities is vital.

Wike urged the Senate Committee to also visit all slated communities for the necessary interaction as regards their peculiar needs.

Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Senator Kabiru Marafa, said the Senate attaches importance to the passage of the Host Communities Bill.

He assured the governor that the bill would be passed before the long vacation of the Senate.

Senator Marafa explained that the initiative to segment the bill was to ease the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“On the assumption of office, the eight National Assembly took it upon itself to break the jinx and pass the Petroleum Industry Bill once and for all”, he said.

[VIDEO] Obahiagbon Speaks On Petroleum Industry Governance Bill

A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Patrick Obahiagbon, has shared his views on the passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, which was passed by the Senate on Thursday.

The PIGB is the first part of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which the National Assembly has failed to pass since 2008.

To allow for easier passage of the bill, the Senate broke it into three parts.

Obahiagbon responded to the passage of the bill when he appeared on Politics Today on Channels Television.

The former lawmaker expressed excitement over the passage of the bill after years of delay, saying his palate was “titillated” when he heard the news.

Watch the video below:

Oil And Gas Index Falls By 1.21%

Nigeria To Exit Joint Venture Cash Calls With Oil CompaniesThe oil and gas index on the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday fell by 1.21 per cent; the day the National Assembly passed the first phase of the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill.

Despite this, sectoral decline winning streak continues, with the all share index adding 0.64 per cent to close at 28,467.61 and total market value surged to 9.841 trillion Naira.

Financial Services Stocks maintained their lead in top trades as Access Bank polled over 106 million units in transactions followed by GT Bank and Diamond.

Thirty companies appreciated in price against 14 others as the market breadth closed positive.

UAC properties settled at two Naira 14 kobo, having jumped the most by 9.7 per cent. Livestock ticked 8.5 per cent while GlaxoSmithKline appreciated by five per cent.

PZ on the other hand, declined by 6.1 per cent, topping the losers chart, followed by Mobil and Honey Well Flour.

NUPENG Gives F.G 21 Day Ultimatum To Halt Mass Sack Of Its Members

NUPENG, Rivers StateThe Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has given a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, to stop the incessant mass sack of its members by oil companies in the country

This was stated by the President of the Union, Igwe Achese when reading out a communique issued by the Central Working Committee after a meeting held in Warri.

The meeting was aimed at discussing issues currently affecting the union and its members especially the mass sack/retrenchment, by the major oil servicing companies on account of the current recession.

After the meeting, the Union addressed journalists on some of the resolutions reached requesting the intervention of the Federal Government in resolving them.

Part of the resolutions in the communique reads that, “The anti-union
postures of the International Oil Companies must end.

“There should be a speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.

“Agencies saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Oil and Gas Industry must be up and doing”.

The Union also frowned at the frequent vandalisation of pipelines in the Niger Delta.

It also rejected the proposed sale of the National Assets amongst other issues.

Sacked workers

About 3000 workers have been sacked by major oil companies and servicing companies who are closing shops on account of the current recession.

The Union has also given the Federal Government a 21 day ultimatum to halt the mass sack or face mass action from the Union.

Analyst Stresses Need For Nigeria To Get Back On JP Morgan Bond Index

AdebajoAn economic policy analyst, Mr Tilewa Adebajo, on Wednesday said Nigeria needs to get back on the JP Morgan Bond Index to give foreign investors the confidence to invest in the country.

Mr Adebajo also noted that though the federal government has laid down policies to strengthen the economy, he expressed worry, that “no matter how good the policies are, if the timing is wrong, you will lose the confidence of the investors and the financial market”.

He further noted that it is important for government to articulate its policy on a general level, in terms of the type of policy it is facing.

He went back memory lane to when Nigeria was listed on the index, saying “there was a time when we had close to $25 billion of Foreign Direct Portfolios Investment in the country, but because of the misalignment of these policies, most of these monies left.

“At the time we left the JP Morgan Index – when they gave us the warning – we didn’t engage them and we are paying for that now”, he said, maintaining that “if you want to see $25 billion back into this economy, then we have to take steps to get back on to that JP Morgan Bond Index”.

Mr Adebajo further stressed need for private sector investment locally and foreign direct investment to be able to assist government with the gap that they need to manage.

He also maintained that “one of the key structural issue we need to address is the Petroleum Industry Bill”, adding that “if you pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, then we will see investments, not only in oil, but more importantly in gas, because it is the gas we need to do the power.

“So if you get that Petroleum Industry Bill right, the foreign investors will come”, he said.

Joshua Mukan Asks Government To Focus On Hydro Power Generation

Joshua-Mukan-on-hydro-power-generationThe Nigerian government has been advised to invest more in Hydro electricity generation as it would help end the nation’s power problem.

Nigeria has of late shifted focus from hydro power generation to gas and other forms, but the Chairman of William Duncan Hydro, Joshua Mukan, sees the need to go back to Hydro.

Nigeria has two major rivers – Niger and Benue – that could be explored to boost power supply.

Mr Mukan said that lack of necessary infrastructure was responsible for the problem faced in the power sector.

During an interview on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television’s programme, he said: “The infrastructure leading to these bio-generation plants are not there and that is why people have been clamouring for this Petroleum Industry Bill to be passed, so that investors can come and invest in this infrastructures, but we are not there yet.

“That is why I have always advocated for power generation through hydro. We know it, Kainji dam, let me be honest, some of us were very young when Kainji dam was set up and it is still running.

“Now all the thermal plants, believe me, (which) were done probably 10, 15, 20, years are not running”.

The William Duncan Hydro boss also suggested to the Federal Government to invest monies recovered from looters of the nation’s treasury in hydro power generation.

“I am suggesting, if I were this government, the money we have collected from people who have looted the treasury of the nation, I will invest all that money in hydroelectric power.”

Mr Mukan, however, believed that with time efficiency in the power sector would be accomplished but labelled Nigerians as “bad managers of expectation”, appealing to them to exercise patience.

“The worst scenario is not to even start. It is good that some of them have been privatised and with time I believe efficiency would come but one thing I know about we Nigerians, including me, is that we are very bad managers of expectations.

“If we have the patience and understanding and if we can manage our expectations well then some of us may drink less of the high blood pressure medication,” he said.

Recently, Nigeria’s gas plants have experienced a shortfall in supply, a situation the government said was caused by resurging militancy in the nation’s Niger Delta region where gas supplies come from.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has carried out several attacks on some oil installations in the region, some of which were gas pipelines.

Switching to hydro power generation, according to experts will reduce such attacks on the facilities and increase the nation’s power supply significantly.

At the moment, the nation of over 160 million population is grappling with less than 5,000 megawatts of electricity, a capacity that is far below the nation’s need.

Saraki Promises Quick Passage Of Petroleum Industry Bill

Bukola-Saraki-Nigeria-Senate-President-on-senate-rule-forgerySenate President Bukola Saraki has assured Nigerians that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) would be accelerated once the Senate resumes from it recess.

Dr. Saraki was speaking while on a condolence visit to the Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, over the death of his mother-in-law.

He disclosed that he has been making progress on the passage of the bill, especially on the need to bring stability to the Niger Delta region.

He emphasised the need to dialogue with the militants to prevent further attacks on oil installations, saying the effect is being felt by all Nigerians.

Dr. Saraki also touched on issues ranging from salaries of workers and teachers in the local governments across the country to revamping the nation’s economy.

The Senate President stated that teachers in the local governments should be accorded priority in the payment of salaries, wondering how structures could be built without caring for the teachers who impart knowledge.

He added that the National Assembly would monitor and ensure that the executive arm of government declares all revenue accruing to the country.

Proceeding to a private university under construction in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in north-central Nigeria, Senator Saraki urged the citizens to be patient with the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government.

He said that the Federal Government has the ability to bring lasting solutions to the numerous problems confronting the country.

PENGASSAN Strike Continues As Discussions Hold With Ministers

Oil Workers, PENGASSAN, NUPENGThe President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria – PENGASSAN, Mr Francis Johnson says the union’s ongoing strike continues until all issues raised before the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and that of Labour are fully addressed.

Mr Johnson told journalists after a closed-door meeting at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja that the decision on whether or not to suspend the strike would be made by the national executive council of the union.

Although the key issue of redundancy in the sector is yet to be addressed at a separate meeting Tuesday with the Minister of Labour and international oil companies, presidents of both PENGASSAN and NUPENG say discussions so far have been satisfactory.

The dialogue which held at the NNPC headquarters had in attendance the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and leaders of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.

One of the issues discussed is the implementation of the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the federal government and the unions.

Also tabled for discussion were the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill and the state under which the oil workers operate, especially with regard to lack of power and bad roads.

Before the meeting went into closed-door, Dr. Kachikwu gave the assurance that the meeting would resolve the issues amicably.

The PENGASSAN had last week declared an industrial action over the dispute, while NUPENG postponed its action pending the outcome of this meeting.

Niger Delta: Kachikwu Restates FG’s Commitment To Dialogue

KachikwuThe Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, has commended the decision by the federal government to opt for dialogue in ending the Niger Delta violence.

Dr. Kachikwu made this remark during a visit to the Governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, in the company of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Major General Paul Boroh (Rtd).

The Minister told journalists after a closed-door meeting with the Governor that he was in Bayelsa State to listen, and learn from major players and find a lasting solution to the issues surrounding pipeline vandalism.

The meeting which was held in government house Yenagoa, is said to be the beginning of a long process that will lay the foundation for a major peace initiative in the Niger Delta.

Major General Boroh revealed that the dialogue process with militants and other stakeholders have begun producing desirable results.

Governor Dickson while commending the President on his stance for dialogue advised that the process of peace building and conflict resolution should not be politicized.

Regarding the allocation of oil wells, the Minister revealed that this will be attended to in the last quarter of the year.

“The President has not focused on the allocation of oil blocs because we think there are more fundamental issues to deal with. We first have to stabilize the sector (and) we are doing a lot of work on that.

“Over the next couple of months, I think more towards the last quarter of this year, then we will focus on looking at bloc opportunities and at that time we will be able to address what we need to do in terms of that resource.

“I hear loud and clear the call within the Niger Delta community that there is a very urgent need in those allocations to ensure that opportunities get either to state governments or to citizens in the areas where oil is being produced.

“I’m sure that is an area that the President is listening to very carefully and we are going to be working with that,” Dr. Kachikwu said.

Niger Delta Crisis Is Offshoot Of National Planlessness

Zakka Bala on Niger delta crisisA petroleum engineer, Mr Zakka Bala, says the crisis confronting Nigeria in the Niger Delta region is an offshoot of national planlessness.

He blamed the leaders of the nation for not making adequate plan that would cater for the nation’s future, stressing that the challenges posed to the nation’s economy by the Niger Delta Avengers attacks on oil facilities could not have surfaced if it was tackled long ago.

“Think And Plan Generationally”

Mr Bala gave his opinion on Tuesday on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.

“We are talking about what ordinarily should have been done before.

“Everything can be summarised under ‘planlessness’, tragedy and probably calamities on the part of Nigeria.

“You can describe what we are experiencing as unfortunate sides, but the tragedy are not limited to the Niger Delta.

“If you have a plan, you can neglect some items and still be on course. If you don’t have a plan, the best way to describe the person is to say the person is headless.

“Leaders are supposed to think and plan generationally. If you think and plan generationally, all you need to do is during your time, put in your best. History and posterity will tell,” he stated.

No Banding Document

The petroleum engineer further pointed out that the falling crude oil price was not a hindrance to the Nigerian government from doing what was right to make the diversification of economy visible, with sustained economic growth.

He stressed that the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that has not been passed was hindering the flow of activities and inflow of foreign investments in the oil and gas sector.

“It is not the falling prices of crude oil that made us not to pass the PIB and make it a law. It is not the falling prices of crude oil that made Nigeria not to be having fertiliser plants scattered all over. It is not falling prices of crude oil that made us not to dredge River Niger or implement the gas master plant. It is not the falling prices of crude oil that made Nigeria not to respond to joint-venture cash calls.

“If investors want to come into your domain and contract with you, the atmosphere must be conducive.

“When you don’t have a banding document, how do you expect somebody to take your country so serious?” he questioned.

On the role of the government in ensuring that the right persons that are knowledgeable are brought into government, he said those in power in Nigeria’s tended to be sectional, nepotic and political.

“The politics we practice is the politics of exclusion, vengeance and possible extermination.

“If you run an inclusive politics, if you see that I have something to offer, even if I am in the opposition, you will call me on board,” he explained.

On the agitation of the Niger Delta Avengers, he said that equity, proper planning and sustenance of the plan could have brought the needed peace in the Niger Delta region.

He suggested that the Nigerian government should consider an integrative bargain or dialogue, stressing that its leaders must lead with the interest of the nation at heart.Zakka-Bala

Nigeria Has Over 200 Years Of Gas – Omotowa

Natural GasThe Managing Director, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Babs Omotowa, believes gas is the future of Nigeria and has emphasized the need for authorities to put more effort into developing the gas industry.

Mr Omotowa was on Channels Television’s Business Morning on Friday where he spoke about the business of liquefied natural gas and issues in Nigeria’s gas industry.

He admitted that indeed the crash in oil price has had a huge impact on gas prices because 70% of gas price is linked to brent and the implication is that when brent goes down, gas price goes down as well.

However, he noted that gas remains the future for Nigeria.

“Nigeria is in the top ten gas reserves in the world. There is no doubt that most energy experts will tell you that Nigeria is actually more a gas province. I think we still have over 200 years of gas available in Nigeria.

“Remember we have 180 tcf of gas today. Most of that were found by accident. We were looking for oil, we suddenly found gas. We haven’t really gone out aggressively to look for gas and that’s one of the areas we need to focus on as a country.

“How do we incentivise to bring the investments that are required to build this infrastructure?

“We need foreign and local investors to come up with this sort of investment and as a country we need to spend more time thinking about how we can bring in investment to grow the gas industry because gas really is the future, oil was our past.

“Gas can give us not only liquefied gas or domestic power but petrochemicals which gives you a lot of manufacturing capabilities.

He put the potential revenue from the gas industry at about three billion US dollars annually.

While stating that government has to look at incentives to encourage investors, he asked legislators to also look carefully into laws governing the sector and warned against frivolities that could become burdens to investors.

Issues In Nigeria’s Gas Industry

Speaking about the issues that have come up in the gas industry, Mr Omotowa said that they were being addressed as positive results are already being seen.

He highlighted the issues of regulatory uncertainties with the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), under-funding of the industry, infrastructure, security of facilities and long contract approval processes.

“I think in fairness with the current administration since President Buhari has been on seat and the Minister of State for Petroleum, a lot of effort has gone into trying to address these issues.

Mr Omotowa also debunked the belief that the pricing for gas does not favour the company when it has to supply domestically as stiff pricing makes local purchasing hard to come by, so rather it focuses more on exporting it.

He noted that the pricing for gas domestically is “at the right levels” considering the price of domestic gas in the US is lower than the price in Nigeria.

He explained, “Our problem is not the price but that this industry is faced with expenses and costs that are simply not comparative.

“When you think about what we have to spend on security, community development and regulatory government agencies trying to impose so much taxes and fees on us, it just raises the cost up and once these prices are raised up by all these input cost, then the price has to be high.”

Gas Master Plan

Mr Omotowa also explained the different aspects of the proposed Gas Master Plan which was expected to help create a much better business environment in the gas indutry.

First was the area of appropriate gas pricing which he believes has seen progress, as gas price has moved up significantly.

“You had aspects that had to do with trying to have domestic gas obligations for upstream companies. I think we’ve seen progress because I think we are producing a lot more gas to domestic now than we used to before.

“There are aspects to do with increasing the export activities with Brass LNG, OK LNG, and Train 7. I think we are a bit slow on that aspect.

“There have also been aspects to do with building petrochemical plants. Again, we haven’t made much progress in that front.

“So in totality, when you look at the gas master plan, I think in many areas there have been progress and in some areas I think we are still behind but it’s not to be unexpected, because it’s not a plan that was to be completed in a year.

“However, I think we are on the right track, I think with this current administration; the President, the Minister of State for Petroleum, we are really seeing much effort in the right direction.”