By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, declined assent to five more bills that were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to him to sign into law.
In separate letters addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and read at Plenary yesterday, President Buhari listed the latest rejected Bills as Nigerian Film Corporation Bill, Immigration (Amendment) Bill, Climate Change Bill, Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill as well as Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.
With yesterday’s development, the number of passed bills in the present 8th Senate and refused to be signed into law by the President, now puts the number at 26.
In the letter yesterday, President Buhari explained that it became imperative to reject the Immigration Bill because it would have adverse effect on Nigeria’s position on the Ease of Doing Business ranking, just as he said that the Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill amounted to duplication of functions with an existing institute.
Other bills earlier rejected by Buhari since 2015 include: the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill, National Research and Innovation Council (Est.) Bill, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Est.) Bill and National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill.
Others are Chattered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Est.) Bill, Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill as well as five constitution amendment bills.
Also rejected are: National Transport Commission Bill, Federal Road Authority (Establishment) Bill, National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill and Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill.
Recall that the Senate had earlier set up a Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills, chaired by Senator David Umaru, APC, Niger East to look into the rejected bills by the President.
Although the Technical Committee laid its report in December last year, the report of the David Umaru-led panel even as at yesterday, is yet to be considered.
Also recall that Saraki had on September 10, 2018 announced the setting up of a technical committee to review 15 critical bills earlier rejected by President Buhari.
The Senate has however adjourned plenary for two weeks to last till April 2nd to allow for the Committee on Appropriations to allow Ministries, Heads of Parastatals defend the Appropriation bill for onward presentation at plenary.