President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill passed by the National Assembly.
In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki and read at plenary on Wednesday, the President said his decision was pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
According to Buhari, the bill undermines the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the functions of the ministry, which he oversees.
The letter read: “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 rejected the imposition of 0.5 per cent of Operation Funds on oil companies, noting that it would create additional tax burden on oil firms operating in the country.
He listed the contentious areas in the bill to include Sections 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 per cent of Operation Funds of oil companies for the enforcement of the environmental legislation 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.”