Oil Spill Detection Agency Seeks Law Reforms To Enhance Role

Ogoni landThe National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) is pushing for a law reform to enable the agency perform its duties effectively.

The agency’s Director General, Peter Idabor, made the recommendation in Abuja at a meeting with the Chairman House Committee on Environment and the Minister of Environment.

According to him, the existing laws that established the agency made it impossible for it to criminalise those responsible for oil spills especially in the Niger Delta region.

The National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency -NOSDRA is an agency of the Federal Government created to take the lead in ensuring timely and effective response to oil spills and ensure that clean-up and remediation are made to affected sites.

Since its establishment by an Act of the National Assembly in 2006, however, the agency has continued to contend with the overwhelming numbers of sites needing clean-up in the Niger Delta region.

After the Director General of NOSDRA explained how the laws that established the agency had limited its performance, the Chairman House Committee on Environment, Obinna Chidoka, assured the agency of the support of the legislators.

He, however, pointed out that the existing laws could make the agency do its job.

One of the areas needing clean-up is Ogoni Land and the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, explained the reasons behind the delay in executing the clean-up project of the Ogoni Land in the Niger Delta region.

The Federal Government had announced the clean-up of Ogoni Land in June this year, but five months after, that project is yet to be executed.

House Yet To Receive Executive Bill On Emergency Powers

House, Emergency Powers, Executive BillThe House of Representatives says it has not received the much talked about executive bill, seeking to give President Muhammadu Buhari emergency powers to tackle the economy.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Representative Emmanuel Orker-Jev, said the House was yet to get the bill.

He was speaking on Tuesday at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, upon resumption of the House after its annual recess.

Some lawmakers, Yusuf Tajudeen, Chris Azubogu and Obinna Chidoka told Channels Television on Tuesday that the bill, if presented, would be subjected to proper scrutiny.

They agreed that Nigeria needed to take active steps to revive the economy from its present stage of recession.

However, some Nigerians expressed doubt if the bill would be sent to the National Assembly or if sent, weather it would be passed by the legislative.

Legislative Bottlenecks

Giving his opinion on the yet to be presented bill, a member of the House, Rima Shawulu, had disagreed with the idea during an interview on Sunrise Daily.

Shawulu claimed that passing such a bill could enable the President to make decisions at will regarding projects, insisting that the Nigerian economy does not call for emergency powers.

On the contrary, a lawyer, Sanusi Musa, said the idea of seeking emergency powers was a good one, as the government must have seen the need to act faster in fixing the economy.

Musa agreed with the belief that legislative bottlenecks must be put aside if the economy must advance and added that seeking the help of the National Assembly would not prevent it from performing its roles of checking the executive and over-sighting all their activities.