BILLS BUHARI REFUSED TO ASSENT (2015-2019)

President Buhari has rejected Over 30 Bills between 2015 and 2019. Some of these Bills were rejected for a variety of reasons e.g. they were duplicating the roles of existing agencies, or they were rent-seeking in nature and poorly worded. Adversary politics that we see in government today has led the process of drafting a bill that is time-consuming and a waste of public resources which are provided for by the taxpayers.

A Technical Committee was set up in 2018 to review some of the bills rejected by President Buhari. They have submitted their recommendations to the National Assembly.

A thorough review should be done on Bills before they are approved by the National Assembly and transmitted to the President for his assent. The executive should also express its views on the provisions of the Bill during the review process and public hearings, rather than stand by for an opportunity to veto the Bill.

It is taxpayers’ money that is being wasted!

S/N BILL YEAR PASSED PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE OF BILL NO. OF TIMES REJECTED      REASONS FOR REJECTION RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON DECLINED ASSENT TO BILLS
1 National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill 2018 To uproot quackery in the seed industry and encourage only genuine entrepreneurs 1 He referred to the National Crop Varieties and Livestock Breed (Registration) Act which covers some of the proposed function and would create confusion as to the proper authority to regulate crop varieties in Nigeria It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
2 Climate Change Bill 2018 To balance institutions and approaches responsible for addressing climate challenges across sectors, through public and private participation. 1 He said it would be a duplication of the role of the Federal Ministry of Environment, and added that it would be too expensive to maintain NA
3 Federal Polytechnic Amendment Bill 2018 To amend the Federal Polytechnics Act, to review the retirement age of staff of Federal Polytechnics, and harmonize tenure of office 2 The removal of any member of the governing council should be done by him, not the Federal Executive Council NA
4 Nigeria Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill 2018 To establish the Nigerian Search and Rescue

 

Guard to provide for Maritime and Aeronautical

Search and Rescue Operations and other search and rescue related matters

1 He said the bill is a duplication of the work of NEMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Estate Management Agency and other responsible organizations for research and rescue services in Nigeria especially aeronautic research, and that the bill was not in line with relevant international civil aviation regulation NA
5 Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill 2018 To prohibit and punish certain offenses pertaining to Advance Fee Fraud and other fraud-related offenses. 1 He declined this because he felt it would reduce the minimum punishment for the offenses by giving the courts too much discretion It recommended the Senate withdraw said Bill
6 National Transport Commission Bill 2018 To bring standard and structure to the transport sector 1 Some sections of the bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies NA
7 Revenue Mobilization, Allocation, and Fiscal Commission Amendment Bill 2018 To transforming Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary policy, address the continuous depreciation of the Naira, and empower the Commission to disburse revenue accrued to the tiers of government 1 He stated that this bill would interfere with the operations of Revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government NA
8 Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board Amendment Bill 2018 For effective control of all maritime operations, security fund and establish anti-piracy offenses. 1 He cited distortions in the bill, as well as duplications with the functions and operations of NIMASA NA
9 Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill 2018 An act to provide for the Ajaokuta Steel Company completion 1 He cited financial constraints as his reason for non-assent NA
10 Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Bill 2018 To promote the development of the Micro, Small and Medium (MSME) sector of the Nigerian Economy 1 Duplication of objectives with the Bank of Industry regarding the funding of small and medium enterprises NA
11 Chattered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2018 To provide an enabling environment for training and development 1 He said the institute does not possess the capacity to undertake the numerous duties and responsibilities imposed under the act, and that the bill criminalizes the practice of training and development without registration with the institute even though no description or definition of the term “training and development” is provided in the bill NA
12 Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill 2018 To provide for the repeal of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Act 1993 and to make comprehensive provisions for the re-establishment of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and its Board of Directors 1 He said it failed to spell out in detail, the required qualification and experience threshold of the directors and senior management staff with specific reference to developmental banking, risk management, and mortgage loan administration experience. NA
13 National Housing Fund Bill 2018 To provide additional sources of funding for the financing of housing development in Nigeria 1 He expressed concern over the various levies and obligations imposed by some sections of the bill NA
14 National Institute of Credit Administration Bill 2018 To provide micro and macro management education, an award of specialist qualifications, development skills, and capabilities. 1 He said the provision that every member of the staff of banks and other financial institutions should hold a National Institute of Credit Administration license before they are eligible to practice as credible managers will cause crisis, and that the power it seeks to wield conflicts with that of some regulatory bodies such as the powers of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria and the National Insurance Commission NA
15 National Bio-Technology Development Agency Bill 2018 To promote, coordinate, and set Bio-Technological priority for the country 1 He said it failed to include the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development within the governing board of the agency, and that a number of drafting issues and errors in the bill would affect the interpretation and operation of the bill NA
16 Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill 2018 To provide guarantee on loans granted by financial

 

institutions to farmers for agricultural production

and agro-allied processing

1 He said the increase in the fund size to N50billion will not be effective It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
17 Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) (Amendment) Bill 2018 To provide for additional incentives for some categories of investments and increase the value of the minimum qualifying capital expenditure (QCE) required from companies applying for Pioneer Certificate, and to amend other Sections 1 to enable ongoing consultations by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment with relevant agencies on tax holidays incentive regime for expansion projects, investments in rural areas as well as for agriculture/agro-processing to be included It suggested the Senate overrides the President’s veto on said Bill
18 Digital Rights and Freedom Bill 2018 Protecting the rights of citizens online after the passage of the Cyber Crime Act, 2016, and protect internet users in Nigeria from infringement of their fundamental freedom. 1 He commented on the vastness of the bill and said it went beyond protection of human rights within the digital sphere. NA
19 Chattered Institute Of Pension Practitioners Bill 2018 To enable the industry, have an institute that can produce skilled and competent professionals 1 Duplication of functions with an existing institute NA
20 Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill 2018 To address ambiguities in the Principal Act and to ensure that the provisions of the Principal Act reflect current realities in Nigeria 1 He stated that since the revenue generated is shared among the three tiers of government, it may deprive the States and Local Governments of their share of stamp duties revenues It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
21 Nigerian Film Corporation Bill 2018 For the development of the film industry in Nigeria 1 He said the  imposition of  Value Added Tax was unnecessary, and a clear duplication of the Tax System NA
22 Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2018 A proposed amendment to the Immigration Act 2009, to respond to opportunities provided by new technology, as well as introduce measures to address the exploitation of migrant workers 1 He stated that it would have an adverse effect on the Country as regards her position on the Ease of Doing Business ranking. NA
23 National Broadcasting Commission (Amendment) Bill 2018 To strengthen the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as an effective regulator of broadcasting in Nigeria 1 The amendment to the powers of the commission deletes existing paragraphs 21(U) which contains an important omnibus clause that grants the commission incidental powers which are not specifically provided for in other sections of the Act NA
24 National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act  (Amendment) Bill 2018 To help support the clean-up and remediation of communities impacted by the oil industry in the Niger Delta 1 He said it undermined the powers of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the function of the Ministry, and it would create an additional tax burden on oil firms operating in the country NA
25 Energy Commission Amendment Bill 2018 To grant priority to the promotion and development of renewable energy sources, and provide for other related matters 1 He stated that it was unconstitutional for the Commission to receive 0.5% from the Federal Government account as it goes against the 1999 amendment regarding disbursement from Federal account. NA
26 Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill 2017 To ensure that the subsidiary legislation is made consistent with the objectives of the enabling law and for related matters 1 He expressed his concern that the bill would slow down the administrative processes for implementing agencies It recommended the Senate withdraw said Bill
27 Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill 2017 To provide security and safety information and communication facilities for all categories of users of the Nigerian Maritime Industry, and for related matters 1 He said the amendment would create distortions to the operationalization of the NIMASA Act It recommended the Senate withdraw said Bill
28 National Research and Innovation Council(Establishment) Bill 2017 To encourage research in all levels across the country. It also made provisions for funding for its beneficiaries 1 He cited incorrect references and  unwieldy demand for percentages aimed at its funding as reasons for refusing assent It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
29 Courts and Tribunal Standard Scale of Fines Bill 2017 To avoid tedious repetitive amendments and eliminate the possibility of an Act being out of date on account of the inadequacy of the fine 1 He said the proposed scale of fines may conflict with the existing penalties and fines under Nigerian laws which already impose penalties and fines for various offenses NA
30 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 8 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 728) 2017 to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or at Committee proceedings and institutionalize legislative bureaucracy in the Constitution 1 He stated that there are other laws that cater to Legislative Service Commissions and that prescribing a certain date for an annual state of the nation address may create challenges in diarizing the event It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
31 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 15 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 729) 2017 To replace the name, “Nigeria Police Force” with “Nigerian Police” to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services 1 He said Section 5 (a) of the Bill should also amend the marginal note to 214 of the 1999 Constitution It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
32 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 20 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 730) 2017 To alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, to further strengthen the Judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice 1 He said the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria drew his attention to several provisions in the Bill that should be amended, and he had directed the leadership of the National assembly and the Hon. Justice to discuss these issues It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
33 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 22 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 731) 2017 To reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps 1 It said it would be a duplication of roles with other agencies, and that it may impair future efforts to change roles to new changes in future It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
34 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 24 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 732) 2017 To provide the procedure for passing a Constitution Alteration Bill where the President withholds assent 1 He said the Bill did not take full cognizance of the provisions of Section 9 (3) of the 1999 Constitution It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
35 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No. 28 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 733) 2017 Seeks to mandate the president and state governors to present annual budget estimates before the legislature at most three months to the end of a financial year, and to encourage early presentation and passage of Appropriation Bill. 1 He declined assent on the grounds that Section 2 (b) and Section 3 (b) of the proposal appeared not to take full cognizance of the provisions of Section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution It suggested the Senate overrides the President’s veto on said Alteration Bill
36 Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2016 That all related offenses under the Act may be prosecuted at the instance of the Attorney General of the federation, the Police Force and any private legal practitioner; with the court of jurisdiction being State High Court or Federal High Court of Justice 2 Asides citing inconsistencies of the bill with other laws, he said it did not cover instances of career-ending and life-threatening injuries and not just wrongful death, and it did not clearly specify the penalties to be imposed for the offenses created by the bill NA
37 Electoral Act (Amendment) bill 2016 To facilitate key reforms in the electioneering process in Nigeria. 4 He rejected this bill under the premise that it was too close to the election, and that it would confuse electoral officials as some terms and clauses needed to be corrected NA
38 Police Procurement Fund (Establishment) Bill 2016 To fund the procurement of materials and facilitate the training of officers 2 Lack of clarity on the distribution of funds, and constitutional issues regarding the powers of the national assembly to appropriate funds covered in the bill. NA
39 Petroleum Industry Governance Bill 2016 To promote transparency and accountability in the administration of petroleum resources of Nigeria, and foster a conducive business environment for petroleum industry operations 2 He said provisions for the Petroleum Regulatory Commission to retain as much as 10% of the revenue generated, unduly increased the funds accruing to the commission to the detriment of the revenue available to the Federal, State, Federal Capital Territory, and Local Governments. It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
40 National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill 2016 To give legal backing to the Institute for its operations. 1 He said several provisions relating to the board were not in accordance with good practice in corporate governance It recommended the Senate consider and pass said Alteration Bill again
41 National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency (NCPEA) 2016 Help children and victims of child and drug abuse, and regulate and monitor the activities of any related organization 1 He said the proposed responsibilities of the proposed agency, were currently the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs NA
42 Federal Roads Authority (Establishment) Bill 2016 To promote safe and efficient management of the Federal Roads network and for other matters 1 Some provisions enshrined therein, fall within the purview of other safety agencies NA
43 Nigerian Peace Corps (Establishment) Bill 2015 To transform the Peace Corps into a government para-military agency, and to give legal backing to the establishment. 1 He cited security concerns and the financial burden of funding the organization by the government as his reasons. NA
44 Chattered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill 2015 It is aimed at evolving a reliable databank and information service system for resourceful operation of the small-scale enterprises as well as ensuring better educated, more courageous and vibrant entrepreneurs. 1 He said the bill was unnecessary because potential entrepreneurs have various existing options to hone their skills such as universities which currently offer entrepreneurship as a course of study. It recommended the Senate withdraw said, Bill
45 Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill 2015 To provide the necessary legal, institutional, and regulatory framework that would facilitate the availability of credit 2 He cited that this bill had drafting issues that could hinder clarity and understanding of the bill. NA

By  Alice Eze

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