President Muhammadu Buhari, Wednesday, declined assent to the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency Act (Amendment) Bill passed by the National Assembly.
Buhari, in a letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and read at plenary, said his decision was pursuant to Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Specifically, the President said the bill undermined the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the functions of the ministry.
The President, who is the Minister of Petroleum Resources, stated that, “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, explaining that this will create addition tax burden on oil firms operating in the country.
Besides, he listed the contentious areas in the bill to include Section 3, 6 (1a), 7 (a) and (b), 8, 9 and 11.
He said, “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 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”.