President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected five bills sent to him by the national assembly.
The bills are revenue mobilisation, allocation and fiscal commission amendment bill, 2018; bankruptancy and insolvency bill, 2018; federal polytechnic amendment bill, 2018; maritime security operations coordinating board amendment bill, 2018 and energy commission amendment bill, 2018.
The president’s decision were contained in five letters written to the national assembly and read by Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president, on the floor of upper legislative chamber on Thursday.
Buhari explained that he declined assent to the revenue mobilisation amendment bill because it would obstruct “its motive and administration of revenue generating agencies of the federal government.”
“The bill will confer the powers of oversight of the revenue currently vested in the president and minister of finance to the revenue mobilization, allocation and fiscal commission and negate the existing provision of section 51 Federal Inland Revenue Services,” Buhari said.
“The proposed insertion in a section 6 (a) of the bill with regards to the removal of earns of generating revenue agencies needs to be harmonized with the various establishment acts of these agencies which contains specific terms and procedures for the removal of chief executive officers.”
On the bankruptancy and insolvency bill, the president said there were drafting issues “that affect the clarity and understanding of the bill.”
“For instance, section 65 (1) imposes a duty on a banker to report the existence of the account of an undischarged bankrupt to the trustees as it is incumbent on the banker to both ascertain that the customer is an undischarged bankrupt and also locate the relevant trustee to provide the information about the account of such customer,” he said.
“This obligation reates operational difficulties. The duty of a banker to disclose information about accounts is better and it should be predicated on a request for information and trustee.
“A number of provisions in a bill to be properly domesticated and aligned to Nigerian law for instance. Section 87 capital stock should read capital.”
On the federal polytechnic amendment bill, Buhari said bestowing powers on the federal executive council to remove governing boards of polytechnics instead of the president is cumbersome.
“Section 3 (f) of the amendment bill which leaves membership of the governing council of polytechnics as consisting of representatives of the ministry or regulatory body is not acceptable and this may ultimately jeopardize the supervisory role of the ministry or the council,” he said.
“It is desirable that the ministry’s presence on the council is clear and unambiguous.”
He said he declined assent to the maritime security operations coordinating board amendment bill because the proposed amendments would create distortion and duplication to the functions and operations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
“I urge 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 maririme sector within the objective of realgnining its agencies for more efficient service delivery and focus on the security of our maritime frontiers,” he said.
On the energy commission amendment bill, the president said the proposed section 8 of the bill providing for the commission to receive an annual subversion of not less than 0.5 percent from the federation account is “unconstitutional.”
“The bill infringes on the rural electrifications agency’s power to carry out its mandate in particular reference to the promotion and development of unserved and underserved rural communitites across Nigeria,” he said.
Buhari also sent the food safety and quality bill 2018 to the national assembly for passage into law.