By Tola Akinmutimi
Lawan gave this hint while declaring open a public hearing convened by senate and House of Representatives Joint committees on finance on 2020-2022 medium term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy paper (MTEF/FSP).
The lawmaker disclosed that senate had earlier in the day decided on the need to review the Act to boost the nation’s revenue generation.
He explained: “For long, Nigeria has been shortchanged and of course, we blame ourselves for that.
“Since the price of crude went beyond 20 dollar, Nigerians should have benefitted from that Act by immediately ensuring that we review that Act, where we would have gotten 50 percent of the increase in the price of crude; and we are talking about billions of dollars,” Lawan added.
Noting that prolonged failure of the government to consider the review of the old PSC Act was an opportunity that we squandered ourselves, Lawan added that the oil companies had no business telling us to review our laws.”
He clarified further: “We know that the executive will be on our side. We lost about N350 billion to fund the 2019 budget, because it is not there. And even the N160 billion proposed in the 2020 budget is at risk. So we have to do everything possible to ensure that what is ours as a country comes to us.
“And we are inviting the executive side of government to work with us on this very important Act that we are about to amend.
“We expect that before the budget is passed, this Act would have been amended and signed into law by the President… because we have to fund the 2020 budget properly,” Lawan said.
Earlier, the upper chamber of the National Assembly had resolved on the planned amendment after considering a motion titled: “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.”
The motion was sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Patrick Ubah (representing YPP, Anambra South).
Concerned about the huge losses to the country following the failure to amend the Act earlier, the Senate also mandated its Committee on Petroleum Resources Upstream to investigate the reasons for the failure to review the provisions of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) Act.