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Reps Okay Bill To Plug Revenue Leakages In Oil Sector

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The House of Representatives, last Wednesday, passed a bill seeking to help plug leakages in government’s streams of income in the oil sector for second reading.
This followed a motion by the Deputy Majority Leader, Ahmed Wase, at plenary, presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara in Abuja.
Moving the motion, Wase (APC-Plateau) noted that as a result of lack of amendment of the Act, government has lost 21 billion dollars since 2008 when its review was due.
“Government loses about 8 million dollars daily as a result of lack of review,” he said.
According to him, a Bill for an Act to amend the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1999, will help to provide more efficient methods of computing accruable revenue of government.
“It will improve the revenue of the government of the federation.
“Such additional revenue can adequately fund part of our budget deficit, boost the economy and improve living conditions of Nigerians.
“It will improve the petroleum industry governance,” he said.
According to the lawmaker, the bill seeks to effect an amendment in the Principal Act (Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1999) in order to plug leakages in government revenue streams and ensure the Federal Government maximises sufficient royalties from Production Sharing Contracts (PSC) between NNPC and International Oil Companies (IOCs).
“PSC was widely introduced in 1993 to address some of the issues faced by the Joint Operating Agreement (JOA) between the NNPC and IOCs and also to provide a suitable agreement structure for encouraging foreign investment in offshore acreage.
“Under these arrangements, the NNPC is the holder of the concession while the IOC is the contractor.
“In 1993, the NNPC entered into PSCs with eight IOCs and Nigeria is believed to have attracted much needed additional foreign investment as a result.
“These new PSCs attracted IOCs due to their favourable fiscal and legal regimes, as IOCs were given a higher profit share for the more marginal and high risk projects off shore,” he explained.
Wase said in 2000, eight new deep water licenses were offered, of which the terms of the PSC were considered to be tougher for IOCs.
He said the reduced risks involved in finding larger deep water reserves was the main reason for tougher profit oil splits in the 2000 PSC terms.
“In 2005, 14 deep water licenses were offered, of which certain alterations were again made to the PSC model contract,” he said.
He said Sections 16 of the Principal Act was amended by adding a new subsection (3) immediately after subsection (2) of the Principal Act.
Wase pointed out that: “Section 16 (3) In accordance with the provisions of subsection (1) stipulated that a royalty rate by price of 50 per cent should be for the additional revenue in the contract area of the Production Sharing Contracts under this Act.
“And the additional revenue shall be determined by the product of the volume of crude oil or condensate sold and the difference between the actual nominal sales price of the oil or condensate and the nominal value of $20 per barrel, (1993 real terms), at the time of sales, provided that the value of $20 per barrel (1993 real terms) shall be determined based on relevant US All Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) as published by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics,” he said.
He said the amendment was imperative to improving government’s revenue for the overall interest of the people.
“I therefore urge this Honorable House to consider it for passage,” he enjoined.
After a debate on the motion, the speaker, put it on a voice vote and the lawmakers unanimously supported it.
He then referred the bill to the House Committee on Petroleum Upstream for further legislative action.

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Kogi Poll: Court Hears Suit Challenging Bello’s Eligibility, Today

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A suit challenging the eligibility of Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State to contest the November. 16 governorship election in the state will be heard today, Friday, at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The originating summons, which is instituted by Natasha Akpoti, the Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s governorship candidate in the forthcoming poll, will be mentioned at Court 5 before Justice Inyang Ekwo.
The Tidereports that while SDP candidate is the plaintiff, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
The suit, dated October. 10 and marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019, filed by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Akpoti’s behalf, sought the court’s determination on the eligibility of Governor Bello in the Saturday election, having allegedly been involved in double registration as a voter.
Akpoti said “that by his wilful act of making double registration as a voter, Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed an act of electoral fraud.
“That Mr. Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st Defendant.,was initially registered as a voter sometime in 2011 in Abuja, by the 2nd defendant.
“That Bello. the candidate of the 1st defendant again fraudulently procured from the 2nd defendant. a second registration as a voter on 23rd May,. 2017, at Government House. Lokoja, while his 2011 first registration as a voter in Abuja was still live, extant and subsisting.
“That the said Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant carried out the double registration with the 2nd defendant so as to scuttle due electoral process.
“That such a person is not a fit and proper person to be voted for in any election, let alone for the high office of the governor of a state.”
Recall that Justice Ekwo had, on Tuesday, delivered judgment, disqualifying the APC Deputy Governorship Candidate in Bayelsa, Sen.

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Udom’s Victory, Justice Directed By Law

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The Peoples Democratic Party, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has described the victory of Governor Udom Emmanuel at the Appeal Court in Calabar as justice directed by law and not through federal might or political colouration.
The Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Ini Ememobong said this in a reaction to the ruling of the Appeal Court on Wednesday which upheld the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal.
In a statement, Ememobong said, “the judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Calabar on the Appeal filed against the verdict of the Governorship election petition tribunal by the All Progressives Congress and her Governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere, delivered today has again aligned with reality by confirming the sanctity of the ballot.”
“ In the well-considered judgement, the noble Lords of the penultimate court, held that the Appeal was lacking in merit, agreeing with the tribunal that the APC did not lend credible evidence to prove their case and that they had dumped documents in the panel without linking them, as required by law.
“By this judgment, the judiciary has again shown that justice is directed by law and not federal might, partisan colouration or other extra-legal dispositions. To this, we are deeply grateful to the court and wholeheartedly welcome the judgement.”
The Publicity Secretary, however, renewed the call for partnership with the opposition APC, in the execution of Akwa Ibom Project.
He noted, “We acknowledge the zeal and emotional investments committed to the Governorship quest by Obong Nsima Ekere, an illustrious Akwa Ibom son, who rose to the exalted office of Deputy Governor through the instrumentality of our party. He has fought the fight, ran the race, but the results are not in his favour. We urge him to avoid the temptation of escalation of commitment and rather view the Akwa Ibom project as the cynosure and act in the benefit of the larger interest of the people.
“We commend Akwa Ibom people who have continually stood firm with our party, through their votes. Our legal team for diligent and excellent representation. The legal department of our Party led by the State Legal Adviser, Goddy Umoh Esq has shown great dedication in the pursuit of this case deserves commendation. God Almighty deserves our praise for His mercies and protection throughout the elections period.”

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PDP Rejects Hate Speech Bill

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned and rejected the Hate Speech Prohibition Bill in the National Assembly, seeking stringent punishment including death by hanging as penalty.
The party gave the rejection in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that in as much as the PDP did not condone hate speech under any guise, it regarded the bill as “unconstitutional, undemocratic and a barbarous”.
He said that the provisions of the bill were deliberately hazy and nebulous with the malicious intention to victimise innocent Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan said that the bill was targeted at official extermination of voice of dissent and perceived opposition.
He said that Nigeria already had enough constitutional provisions and extant laws to safeguard a sane and healthy public expression space, adding that such law could not find its way in Nigeria.
He recalled that the bill was rejected in the Senate in 2018, only for it to be re introduced.
“Our party holds that if allowed to pass, the hate speech prohibition bill, with its savage provisions, would destroy our democratic order, strip our constitutional provisions, the rights of citizens and usher in a full-blown despotism in Nigeria.”
Ologbondiyan advised sponsors of the bill to retrace their steps and withdraw the bill.
“The PDP also charges the National Assembly to protect our nation by
throwing away the bill.
“If anything, NASS should use its legislative instruments to strengthen our institutions and authorities vested with regulation of public expression in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended).”

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