President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected seven more bills transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
The president announced his decision to withhold assent to the bills via a letter read during senate plenary on Tuesday.
The bills include: Chartered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria Bill, 2018; Nigeria Aeronautical Research and Rescue Bill, 2018; National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, 2018 and Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund.
Others are National Housing Fund Bill, 2018; Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill, 2018 and National Bio-technology Development Agency Bill, 2018.
The president also cited various reasons for rejecting the bills, as contained in the letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki.
The development brings to 20, the number of bills Buhari has rejected in 2019.
The reasons given by Buhari on each of the bills:
The Chartered Institute of Training and Development Establishment Bill 2018:
Buhari said he declined assent to the bill because of concerns that the institute does not possess the capacity to undertake the numerous duties and responsibilities imposed under the act.
“In addition, the bill criminalises 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.”
The Nigerian Aeronautic Research Bill 2018:
Buhari said there were “many inconsistencies” in the bill and it is not in tandem with relevant international civil aviation regulations.”
He said, for instance, that section 1 of the bill provides that the principal objectives is to incorporate the Chicago convention into Nigerian law whereas “the convention is already incorporated by virtue of section (3) (1) of the civil aviation act 2006.”
“The bill is a duplication of the work of NEMA, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Estate Management Agency and other responsible organisations for research and rescue services in Nigeria especially aeronautic research.”
The National Institute of Credit Administration Bill 2018:
The president said he rejected this bill because the provision that every member of the staff of banks and other financial institutions should hold a National Institute of Credit Administration licence before they are eligible to practice as credible managers “portends a recipe for crisis.”
“Two, section 5 of the bill should be deleted in its entirety as the power sort to be conferred on the NICA will be in conflict with the powers 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.”
The National Housing Fund Bill 2018:
The president expressed concern over the various levies and obligations imposed by some sections of the bill.
For instance, in the case of people earning income around the minimum wage band, the NHF contribution is 250% higher than their PAYE.
According to Buhari, “The compulsory investment requirement imposed on commercial banks, merchant banks, insurance banks and pension fund, administrations of the minimum of 10% profit before tax into the National Housing Fund will be destructive punitive to a number of industries and sectors of the Nigerian economy including cement, manufacturing, banking, insurance, pensions and may also impact adversely affect the average Nigerian worker.”
The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill 2018:
Buhari said he is declining assent to the bill over its failure 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.
“The provisions in section 9(2) provided that liabilities of the federal mortgage bank shall be discountable with the Central Bank of Nigeria without specifically stating in the bill that this is subject to usual criteria for normally accessing the rediscounted window of the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
The National Biotechnology Development Agency of Nigeria Bill 2018:
Buhari said the bill fails to include the ministry of agriculture and rural development within the governing board of the agency.
He also said there are “a number of drafting issues and errors in the bill which will affect the interpretation and operation of the bill.”
Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, 2018:
Buhari said appropriating $1 billion from the excess crude account, which the bill had provided for, is “not the best strategic option for Nigeria at this time of budgetary constraints.”
“Furthermore, as the excess crude account funds belong to the federation, it would be proper to consult with the national economic council and the states,” he said.