By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja, April 17, 2019
The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill for an Act to Prohibit Gas Flaring in Nigeria.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bassey Akpan was passed after a clause-by-clause consideration at plenary.
The bill, which passed second reading in 2017, seeks to ensure that any person who acted on behalf of a licensee to supply inaccurate data to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) or to any other person duly empowered by a lawful authority, commits an offence.
Such a person should be liable upon conviction to a fine of N10 million or to imprisonment for a maximum term of six months or to both fine and imprisonment.
The bill also contained provisions on inaccurate data collation and submission by the lessee, gas flaring fee, powers of the minister to make regulations, as well as repeal of the Associated Gas Re-Injection Act 2004.
It equally seeks to ensure that natural gas is not flared or vented in any oil and gas production operation, bloc or field, onshore or onshore, or gas facility.
The bill also seeks to ensure that no operator should establish an oil and gas facility in Nigeria without obtaining authorisation from the minister for the design phase, the commissioning and the production phases.
The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, put the bill to voice vote and it was adopted by the lawmakers.