President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill.
The National Assembly passed the Bill and transmitted it to the President for assent last year.
Senate President Bukola Saraki read the refusal of assent letter on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
Buhari noted that his decision to refuse assent was pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
He explained that the bill undermined the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the functions of the ministry.
Buhari said: “I am declining assent to the Bill because in a number of important sections, the Bill undermines the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the functions and responsibilities of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources”.
He also frowned at the imposition of 0.5 percent of operation funds on oil companies, which, he said, will create additional tax burden on oil firms operating in the country.
He listed the contentious areas in the bill to include Section 3, 6 (1a), 7 (a) and (b), 8, 9 and 11.
“Section 8 of the bill imposes a new charge and the industry of 0.5 percent of Operation Funds of oil companies for the enforcement of the environmental legislations in the petroleum sector.
“This imposition is an additional burden on the industry, particularly given that it is unclear what operation funds mean for the purpose of applying the provisions of the bill,” he said.
Source: The Nation