Buhari rejects NOSDRA bill because it seeks to “undermine” his power as minister of petroleum

OrderPaperToday – President Muhammadu Buhari has informed the Senate of his decision to decline assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Respond Agency (NOSDRA) amendment bill, 2018.

The President took the decision on the 17th of January but only made it known in a letter read today by the Senate President on the floor of the Senate.

According to Buhari, the bill if signed into law will undermine the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and functions of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

It is worthy to note that President Buhari currently serves as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

“I hereby convey to the Senate my decision on 17th of January, 2019 to decline presidential assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Respond Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.

“I am declining assent to the Bill because:

“One, the bill in a number of important sections undermines the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

“Sections in this regard include section 3, section 6 (1 to 5), section 7 (a), 7(b), section 8, section 9 and section 11.

“Two, the bill seeks to enable NOSDRA to function as technical regulator in the issuance guidelines and standards for the oil and gas industry which is a responsibility already embedded in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources under the Petroleum Act.

“Three, section 8 of the bill imposes a new charge on the industry of 0.5 percent of operation funds of oil companies for the enforcement of environmental legislations 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,” the letter read.

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