Buhari assent to bills compelling gas companies to fund NDDC, others
President, Mohammadu Buhari has assented to the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Amendment Act, 2017, which compels gas companies operating in the Niger Delta region to contribute three percent of their annual budgets to fund the NDDC.
According to Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant (SSA ) to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), the Bill was signed into law on Friday.
The Bill, which has now become as Act of Parliament, has as part of its provisions, the contribution of 3 percent of total budget of gas producing and gas processing companies, to the Niger Delta Development Commission, in addition to the oil companies, in a bid to increase funding of the Commission for effective discharge of its duties.
BusinessDay gathered that the NDDC Act previously excluded the gas companies from making such contributions and that the new Act will take effect from 2017.
But the current Act makes it explicit that gas companies should to be included as part of efforts to diversify the sources of funding for the NDDC for the economic wellbeing of the region.
The new Act amended section 14 of the Principal Act to improve the revenue and funding sources of the Niger Delta Development Commission to enable it meet financial challenges which are threatening to cripple the operations of the commission and undermine its statutory.
The President, who assented to six bills on Friday, also signed into law, the Federal Capital Appropriation Act, which authorises the Federal Capital Territory Administration to legally and legitimately provide funds out of its Statutory Revenue Fund for recurrent and capital expenditure.
President Buhari had earlier assented to the Federal Capital Territory Water Board (Establishment) Act, 2017, National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act, 2017, Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 and Anti-Torture Act, 2017.
The Federal Capital Territory Water Board Establishment Act is charged with the responsibility of providing safe, adequate and affordable water supply services to residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It is also to collaborate with other authorities responsible for water resources management to secure efficient use of water resources for the conservation and protection of the water resources of the Territory and the nation.
Amongst the other bills also signed into law on Friday, is the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act, 2017 , which is to provide national direction in cancer research, control and treatment; guide scientific improvements to cancer prevention, treatment and care, coordinate and liaise between the wide range of groups and health care providers with an interest in cancer.
The President also signed the Bill on Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 which provides for the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshots and for related matters.
” Specifically, the Act stipulates that a person with a gunshot wound shall be received for immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria with or without initial monetary deposit.
“Furthermore, a person with a gunshot wound shall not be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or torture by any person or authority, including the police and other security agencies.”
The Anti-Torture Act, 2017 makes comprehensive provisions for penalising the acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and prescribes penalties for the commission of such acts.
The six Acts have come into effect as laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Tony Ailemen, Abuja
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