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President Buhari Declines Assent to NOSDRA Bill

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Despite earlier assurances by the Presidency to pass the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill, 2018, President Buhari declined assent to the Bill in a letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly in February, 2019.

Prior to the President’s refusal, the National Assembly had canvassed for passage of the Bill on the ground that it would increase accountability for oil spillage in the Niger Delta and strengthen the Agency’s capacity to prevent it. Other amendments in the Bill include a change of name of the Agency from “National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency” (NOSDRA) to the “National Oil Pollution Management Agency, (NOPMA)” with a proposal to confine the current agency’s mandate to oil spillages and wastes by removing the responsibility of “gas flares” from its ambit.

While no reasons for the President’s decision was mentioned by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara ( APC: Bauchi), who read the letter at plenary, some have viewed the decision as passing off an opportunity to positively impact on the clean up and remediation of communities impacted by the oil industry in the Niger-Delta.