Recently passed National Oil Spill and Response Agency Bill of 2018 has been denied assent to by President Muhammadu Buhari following his stand on its tendency to counteract the powers and responsibilities of the minister of petroleum resources.
This was revealed in a letter by the President, dated January 17 and addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki, who read it at the start of plenary on Wednesday.
Thus, the letter read in part, “bill in a number of important sections, undermines the powers of the minister petroleum resources and the functions and responsibilities of the ministry of petroleum resources.
“These sections in this regard includes Section 3, Section 6(1)(a) to 5, 2 to 5, Section 7(a), 7(b), Section 8, 9 and 11,” he noted.
The president also cited that the bill had sought to Incapacitate the powers and responsibilities already bestowed on the ministry of petroleum resources to operate as a technical regulator in the issuance of guidelines and standards for the oil and gas industry when it enabled NOSDRA to function in that realm.
“Section 8 of the bill imposes a new charge on the industry of 0.5% of operating funds of oil companies for the enforcement of the environmental legislation in the petroleum sector. This imposition is an additional burden to the industry particularly given that it is unclear what operation funds means for the purpose of applying the provisions of the bill,” he added