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Senate probes loss of $21bn to non-review of PSC Act

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The Senate on Wednesday directed its revenant committees to probe the loss of $21bIllion revenue accruable to the Federal Government due to the failure to amend the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act.

This resolution followed a motion entitled: “Urgent need to review and recover additional revenue accruable to the government of the Federation from the Production Sharing Contracts pursuant to Section 16 of the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Act CAP D3 LFN 2004 and amend the Extant Act.”

The motion was sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) and co-sponsored by 16 other senators.

In his lead debate, Ubah urged the Senate to note that “as a result of the non-review and amendment of the PSC Act, the Federal Government has lost about US$21 billion (about N7trillion) over a period of 20 years due to the failure to review and amend the PSC Act as stated by the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources following the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on the 14th day of December, 2017.”

Senator Ubah’s prayer which is to: “Mandate the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream to investigate the reasons for the failure to review the salient provisions of the PSC Act, 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 of Nigeria (FGN) in the additional revenue is adjusted in accordance with the provisions of the Act,” was unanimously adopted when it was put to voice vote by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

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National News

NLC set for showdown with governors

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The Nigerian Labour Congress is set for a showdown with state governments that may not be ready for immediate implementation of the new minimum wage.

Officials said on Tuesday that after securing an agreement with the Federal Government, it is now time to get the states to key into the implementation. But many states are not financially healthy.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President Ayuba Wabba said Labour would, among other actions, take states that fail to implement the wage law to court.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2019 NLC National Leadership Retreat holding at Nike Lake Hotel in Enugu, he said: “While other countries have fully accommodated and automated the process of minimum wage adjustments and are now focused on living wages, we are faced with a situation where we are forced to bargain too hard and wait for too long for meagre increases in minimum wage and adjustments in salary.

“There is a difference between the law we have and the law that has existed from 1981 till date. In 1981, when the first minimum wage was enacted, there was no provision for sanctions. In this one, there is a provision for sanctions because it is already a law.

“For any state or person that violates the provision of the law, a worker can make a report. Once we get the report, we can look at the means, including approaching the court, to enforce the provision of the law.”

Wabba said Nigeria cannot complain of lack of funds “when we have a lot of public funds in private pockets”.

He added: “It is no longer discussed in hushed tones that the government is struggling with liquidity. This crisis is rooted in bad governance.

“Two things define bad governance in this respect: the institutionalization of corruption in public expenditure and weaknesses cum sabotage in internal revenues accruable to government.

“On corruption in public expenditure, the issue of humongous salaries and allowances paid to elected public officials and contract inflation top the list of our concerns.

“On the other hand, the loss of government revenue due to internal sabotage by unpatriotic public officials is very alarming and worrisome.”

He urged the Federal Government to reject additional loans from the World Bank and to recover what International Oil Companies (IOCs) owe.

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FG says border closure not against ECOWAS

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Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. Mohammed Babandede, has said the partial closure of Nigeria’s border with neighboring countries was not aimed at distorting relationships or economic activities of any member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), but for national security and economic development of the Nigerian state.

Babandede said the partial land, sea, and air closure policy of the Nigeria government was not against the ECOWAS, but to ensure sanity in Nigeria especially in the areas of national security as peoples’ movements are controlled and economic development as it would create employment opportunities as local productions are enhanced.
Speaking during the graduation ceremony of the upgraded officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Immigration Training School in Kano State held over the weekend, Babandede said: “What we are saying is obvious, the land borders have been closed partially because of the operation “Swift Response” being coordinated by the office of the National Security Adviser of which I said is of great security and economic benefit to Nigeria.”

According to him, “No country in the world would allow people and products to enter into its territory through any available routes and without valid travel documents.”

He said the border crossing saga has been eased by the Nigerian government for non-Nigerians and Nigerian alike, but only through a controlled border post and for those with genuine traveling documents.

“Immigration has allowed through the approval of Mr. President in order to ease the tension for the people that both our citizens and non-Nigerians can enter and leave Nigeria only through a recognized immigration control post and they cannot leave without a travel document,” explained Babandede.

Nigeria recently closed its borders with neighboring countries to stop the importation of some banned commodities, including rice which is highly cultivated in the country as well as smuggling of some products from the country especially petroleum. The policy was also stretched to include the movement of human beings.

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President Buhari present year 2020 budget

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Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday formally presented N10.729 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year before a joint session of the National Assembly.

 

Buhari said the 2020 budget is based on the proposed new VAT rate. The increased revenues will be used to fund education, health, and infrastructure.

The budget proposal was prepared based on the following assumptions: Benchmark of $57 per barrel, daily oil 1.86 million barrel per day.

Buhari said the goal of presenting the 2020 Appropriation Act early to the lawmakers is so it can come into effect on January 1, 2020. He also stated that the main emphasis of the budget is on the completion many ongoing infrastructure projects, instead of starting new ones.

The Ministry of Works and Housing got N262 billion, transportation ministry got a budget of N123 billion, Agriculture ministry received N83 billion.

UBEC got N112 billion, Defence ministry N100 billion, Water Resources was allotted N82 billion, Education sector got N48 billion, health has N46 billion.

North East Dec Commission got N38 billion, SIPs was given a budget of N30 billion, FCT got N28 billion and the Niger Delta ministry got N24 billion.

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Sex for marks: Unilag lecturer exposed

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BBC Africa Eye’s on Monday released a documentary targeted at lecturers in some West African universities harassing their students for sex in exchange for grades/marks. After gathering dozens of testimonies, BBC Africa Eye sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos and the University of Ghana.


It was disclosed that female reporters were sexually harassed, propositioned and put under pressure by senior lecturers at the institutions – all the while wearing secret cameras in a 13-minutes video documentary released.

A UNILAG senior lecturer, Faculty of Arts, who doubles as the head pastor of a Foursquare Gospel Church in Lagos, Dr. Boniface Igbeneghu, was exposed as one of the culprits.

The undercover journalist posed as a 17-year-old student who wanted an admission at the University of Lagos.

The “student” endured a couple of sexual harassment from the Dr. Igbeneghu.

Igbeneghu, who invited the teenager to his office for a number of tutorials, subsequently began to have inappropriate conversations with her.

On their first meeting, he commented on her appearance.

In the 13-minutes secret filming, the lecturer revealed how his colleagues tossed and passed around UNILAG female students for sex.
He disclosed further how his colleagues patronised UNILAG Staff club ‘Cold room’ to commit series of atrocities on female students.

“Do you know that you are a very beautiful girl,” he asked her.

“Do you know that I am a pastor and I’m in my fifties. What will shock you is that even at my age now, if I want a girl of your age – a 17-year-old, all I need is to sweet tongue her and put some money in her hand and I’ll get her,” Igbeneghu said to her on camera.

Despite repeated requests, the lecturer failed to react to the BBC’s allegations.

Also, authorities of UNILAG dissociated itself from the lecturer’s actions.

It revealed to the BBC that the institution had a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment.

Furthermore, it refused to comment on the alleged ‘cold room.’

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