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Buhari writes Senate, declines assent to 5 bills

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By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has written to the Senate just as he declining assent to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission( Amendment) Bill, 2018 and four others that were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to him for onward signing into law between November and December last year .

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President Buhari in separate letters to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and dated 4th January, 2019 informed the federal lawmakers of his rejection of the bills which are the Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board ( Amendment) Bill 2018 and Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill 2018.

Others are the Federal Polytechnic ( Amendment) Bill 2018 and the Energy Commission ( Amendment) Bill 2018.

According to President Buhari, he rejected the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission ( Amendment ) Bill because the bill will interfere with and obstruct the smooth administration of revenue generating agencies of the federal government aside other infractions on extant laws.

He added that if signed into law, the Bill will confer the powers of oversight of the revenue currently vested in the President and the Minister of Finance to the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission and negate the existing provisions of Section 51 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

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For the Maritime Security Operations Bill, the President said that he refused assent to it because the proposed amendments will create distortions and duplications with the functions and operations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA).

The President however urged the Senate to focus on passing the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill that was 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 the country’s maritime frontiers.

While he cited drafting errors as reason for refusal of assent to Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, the President kicked against move to weaken his power in the approval and removal of Governing Council members of Federal Polytechnics as envisioned in the rejected bill.

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On the rejected Energy Commission ( Amendment) Bill, President Buhari said its provisions infringe on the Rural Electrification Agency ‘s power and mandates with particular reference to the promotion and development of unserved and under served rural communities across Nigeria.

He however , transmitted to the federal lawmakers an executive bill titled : “Transmission of the Food Safety and Quality Bill 2018”, for consideration and passage.

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