President Muhammadu Buhari has again declined assent to five different bills transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
The President, however, sent to the Senate, a list of appointees to be confirmed as chairman and members of the North-East Development Commission.
He also sought the Senate’s approval for the appointment of Modibbo Tukur as the Director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.
The National Assembly bills rejected by Buhari are Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019; and the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2018.
Others are Bankruptcy and Insolvency Bill, 2018; Federal Polytechnic (Amendment) Bill, 2018; and The Energy Commission (Amendment) Bill.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, at the resumption of plenary on Wednesday, read Buhari’s letters which contained the reasons for the President’s rejection of the bill.
For the Maritime Security Operations Coordinating Board (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Buhari said, “The proposed amendments will create distortions and duplications with the functions and operations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”
He subsequently urged the Senate to focus on passing the suppression of piracy and other maritime offences bill currently before it for a more comprehensive review of the operations of the maritime sector.
Buhari said he rejected the RMFAC (amendment) bill because it would interfere with and obstruct the smooth administration of revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government.
He also stated that the bill would confer the powers of oversight of the revenue currently vested in the President and Minister of Finance on the RMFAC.
This, he said, negated the existing provisions of Section 51 of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
He also cited drafting errors as the reason for rejecting the Bankruptcy and Insolvency bill, stressing that a number of provisions in the bill needed to be properly domesticated and aligned with the Nigerian law.
Buhari further said he rejected the federal polytechnic bill because of Section 16 (1)(2) which subjected the removal of the governing council members and rectors of polytechnics to the approval of the Federal Executive Council, among others.
The President also pointed out that the proposal in Section 8 of the energy commission bill that the agency would be entitled to five percent from the Federation Account was unconstitutional.
He added that the bill infringed on the Rural Electrification Agency’s powers to carry out its mandate with reference to the promotion and development of un-served and under-served rural communities across Nigeria.
The President, in accordance with the provisions of Section 2(5)(b) of the North-East Development Commission Act, 2017, also on Thursday forwarded for confirmation by the Senate, 11 nominees as chairman and members of the governing board of the commission.
The nominees are Maj Gen Paul Tarfa (retd.) as chairman; Mohammed Goni Alkali as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer; Musa Yashi as the Executive Director (Humanitarian Affairs), and Muhammed Jawa as Executive Director (Operations).
Others are David Sabo Kente, member representing North-East zone; Asmau Mai-Eka Mohammed (North-West), Benjamin Adanyi (North-Central), Olawale Oshun, (South-West), Dr T.E. Ekechi, (South-East) and Mr Obasuke Modonald, (South-South)