Buhari Declines Assent To Five Bills, Gives Reasons For Action

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declined assent to five different bills transmitted to him by the National Assembly in 2018.

Senate President Bukola Saraki, at the resumption of plenary, read Buhari’s letters where he gave reasons for declining assent on the legislation.

The National Assembly bills rejected by the President are, Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (Amendment) Bill 2018.

Others are Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill 2018, Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Bill 2018 and The Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill.

Giving reasons for rejecting the Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Buhari said: “the proposed amendments will create distortions and duplications with the functions and operations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”

Rather, he urged the Senate to focus on passing the suppression of piracy and other maritime offences bill currently before it in order to achieve a more comprehensive review of the operations of the maritime sector.

Buhari said he rejected the RMFAC (amendment) bill because it will interfere with and obstruct the smooth administration of revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.

He also stated that the bill will confer the powers of oversight of the revenue currently vested in the President and Minister of Finance to the RMFAC.

This he said negates the existing provisions of Section 51 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

He also referred to drafting errors as reasons for rejecting the Bankruptcy and Insolvency bill stressing that a number of provisions in the bill needed to be properly domesticated and aligned to the Nigerian law.

Buhari said he rejected the Federal Polytechnic (amendment) bill because its Section 16 (1)(2) of the legislation which subjects the removal of the Governing Council members and rectors of polytechnic to the approval of the Federal Executive Council, among others.

The President also said he declined to assent to the Energy Commission (amendment) bill because of the proposal in Section 8 that the agency will be entitled to 5 percent from the Federation Account, is unconstitutional.

Buhari also said the bill infringes on the Rural Electrification Agency’s powers to carry out its mandate with particular reference to the promotion and development of unserved and under-served rural communities across Nigeria.

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Olugbenga Ige is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan. The new media enthusiast and a fine-grained media influencer was a reporter at Concise News.

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