24 March 2015, Abuja — Industry stakeholders have called for a thorough amendment of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA Bill currently before the National Assembly, to remove any conflict between it and the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB.
Among the stakeholders, were officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, and oil majors, represented by the Oil Producers Trade Section, OPTS, of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, LCCI.
The stakeholders, who spoke at a Roundtable in Abuja to gather inputs for the NOSDRA bill, also noted that many provisions in the bill have already been addressed by the PIB.
The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology, while assuring that the bill will soon be passed, said that because the bill will be a regulatory instrument, the Committee has ensured that it covered the spectrum of interests and impact the bill will probably have.
Also speaking, the House of Representatives counterpart noted that the bill will likely be passed by the House in the current political dispensation, adding that where this was not possible, it will be within the view of the next assembly to pass.
According to the House, “We are seeking to ensure that a favorable environment is created for all, due to the fact that if the environment is not conducive for International Oil Companies, IOCs, they won’t be able to operate.
On its part, the DPR advised the National Assembly to look at areas of conflict between the NOSDRA Act and the PIB, so as to streamline the issues when considering the NOSDRA Bill.
According to the DPR, problems adequately solved by the PIB should not necessarily be replicated in the NOSDRA Bill, saying, “There is something we can still do to strengthen NOSDRA without jeopardising the PIB.”