By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate, declining assent to Federal Roads Authority (Establishment) Bill and National Transport Commissions Bill 2018.
In a letter addressed to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and read by him, yesterday, at plenary, President Buhari said he refused to sign the Federal Roads Authority Bill into law because it would make the technical supervisory ministry, Transportation Ministry redundant.
On reasons for his declining assent to Federal Roads Authority (Establishment) Bill 2018, which was passed by the National Assembly, President Buhari in a letter dated December 12, 2018, said: “The establishment of the road sector regulator as a separate and distinctive body in Part 6 of the bill is capable of rendering the entire technical workforce of the supervisory ministry redundant.”
“The supervisory power of the ministry over the road sector would be taken over by the road sector regulator and will leave the ministry without the power to exercise its supervisory role.
“I am declining assent because, one, safety regulatory provisions enshrined in some sections of the bill, which are technical in nature fall within the purview of central legislations implemented by agencies such as Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, and therefore, should be expunged from the bill.
“Two, the percentage of the amount to be retained by the agency from royalties collected under section 19 (2)(d) should be reduced from 10 to five per cent.”
Section 12 (9)(2)(d) stipulates that a portion of the proceeds from royalties collected by the authority empowered to collect royalties from transport service providers should not exceed 10 per cent which is collected by service providers and concensionaries.
“Three, section 19 (2)(f) which stipulates charge of three per cent freight tariff stabilisation fee on all imports due and exports out of Nigeria including wet and dry cargoes should be amended and reduced from three per cent to one per cent as this is what is currently contained in the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, legislation.”