‘Why Buhari refused assent to NOSDRA amendment bill’
Following concerns by stakeholders on the refusal of the President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSRDA) Amendment Bill, the Minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor has explained that the reason was due to observations in the proposed legislation.
They also said that the delaying the signing has affected the operations of the agency, saying, the Bill seeks to correct and strengthen and also to improve on the current oil pollution management practices in the country.
Speaking at workshop in Abuja, Ikeazor said though efforts aimed at amending the Act commenced in 2011 during 7th National Assembly, and passed by 8th Assembly, assuring that with the recent development the Presidency would sign it into law.
The Minister therefore added that since they have been tasking and engaging experts in key institutions to look at three issues observed, they would come out with a clean copy for executive to assent to the Bill.
According to her, NOSDRA is meant to play the leading role in ensuring timely, effective and appropriate response to all oil spills in upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the economy.
On his part, the Director General, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Idris Musa called on government to accord its rightful place in environmental regulations to enable them operate in oil and gas sector.
“This gathering would be such that would present the amendment Bill to National Assembly in a way that would be acceptable to Mr. President to give assent so as to sustain environmental management,” he added.
Similarly, he said that they need institutional framework to coordinate oil spill, and the implementation of National Oil Spill Contingency Plan for Nigeria in accordance with international convention.
“The provision in Section 11(c) of the Amendment Bill in respect of 2.5per cent of the Ecological Fund is for remediation of oil impacted sites arising from illegal bunkering acts and illegal oil refining sites that have been heavily contaminated.”
His words: In line with global best practices, the Federal Ministry of Environment has statutory responsibility for Environmental Regulation of all sectors of the economy, including the oil and gas industry.