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Buhari declines assent to five bills, gives reasons

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

President Buhari’s decision to decline assent was communicated to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in separate letters dated January 4, 2019.

The Bills refused presidential assent include the Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board ( Amendment) Bill, 2018; Revenue Mobilization Allocation And Fiscal Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2018; The Bankruptcy And Insolvency Bill, 2018; Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Bill, 2018 and The Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

Giving reason for declining, Buhari said in line with Section 58(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) he declined assent to the Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board (Amendment) Bill because the proposed amendments will create distortions and duplications with the functions and operations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He, therefore, urged the Senate to focus on passing the suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill currently before the National Assembly “to achieve a more comprehensive review of operations in the maritime sector, within the objective of realigning its agencies for more efficient service delivery and focus on the security of our maritime frontiers”.

The President also gave two reasons for declining assent to the Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (Amendment) Bill saying the Bill will interfere with and obstruct the smooth administration of revenue generating agencies of government while it also sought to confer the powers of oversight of the revenue currently vested in the President and the Minister of Finance to the Revenue Mobilization Commission and negates the existing provisions of Section 51 of the Federal Inland Revenue Commission.

Drafting issues that affect the clarity and understanding of the bill which may impair the effective operation of the bill as well as the need to properly domesticate and align the bill to Nigerian law were the reasons given for the presidential decision to decline assent to The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill.

The Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Bill was refused presidential assent because Section 16(1)(2) of the Amendment Bill strips the President of the power to approve members of the governing council as obtained in the Principal Act.

The Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill was also refused presidential assent as it 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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