NACGOND decries delay in Buhari’s assent to NOSDRA bill
The National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spill in the Niger Delta (NACGOND), a coalition of civil society groups, has raised concerns about the delay in the signing into law of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Amendment Bill 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The group said there was no better opportunity for the Presidency to show commitment to a pollutionfree Niger Delta than now, by assenting to the bill.
The NOSDRA Amendment Bill 2018 which has been passed by the National Assembly and is currently before Mr President, seeks to increase NOSDRA’s capacity to protect the environment and respond to spills. The bill also provides for increased funding for the agency and to enforce increased fines that will encourage greater environmental accountability.
Speaking at a one-day workshop on ‘Reducing Environmental Degradation in the Niger Delta through Improved Oil Spill Response’, the National Coordinator of NACGOND, Rev. Father Edward Obi, said the bill will strengthen the institutional and regulatory capacity of NOSDRA to proactively manage spills.
Also speaking, the House Committee Chairman on Environment, Mr. Obinna Chidoka, said the National Assembly would have no option but to veto the president should he decline to assent the bill.
“If he fails to assent, that means he has to bring the provisions he doesn’t agree with. He probably would write to say he doesn’t agree with this or that but if what he doesn’t agree to is to the heart of the bill, the National Assembly will do the needful,” he said.