PIGB: Stakeholders Express Concern Over NOSDRA’s Future
Stakeholders in the oil and environment sectors have expressed concern over the future of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency once the Federal Government starts to implement the contents of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.
According to them, NOSDRA may face elimination as soon as the bill becomes a law, and it is important for the President to take a good look at the PIGB before giving his assent to it.
The stakeholders spoke at an event organised in Abuja by the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, which focused on legislative mechanisms to improve environmental management and maximise local communities’ benefits from oil and gas extraction.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Port Harcourt, Prof Lucky Worika, said once the PIGB was assented to by the President, there would be a single regulator for the oil and gas sector, and the agency would also regulate the environmental aspects of the industry, hence stripping NOSDRA of its powers in this area.
He said, “The principal NOSDRA Act of 2006 vests in NOSDRA the power and rights for early detection and response to oil spills. But what has happened now with the PIGB is the establishment of a single regulator that is referred to as the Nigerian Petroleum Regulatory Commission.
“The commission, according to the bill, comprises of the former inspectorate division, Department of Petroleum Resources, as well as the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency. Now, what that has done is to bring about a much more multidimensional and integrated regulator. But that’s not just all about it.”
He added, “In addition to issuing licences and supervising the whole process of oil and gas from beginning to the end, what this bill has done is to vest the regulation of environmental aspects on the commission itself.”