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Buhari rejected bills passed by Senate.

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Bukola Saraki

Yesterday, SEVEN of rejected bills by President Muhammadu Buhari were reconsidered and passed by the Senate.

The growth came as the upper chamber initiated moves to supersede of the President on the Fourth Alteration Bill No.28. The Senate said the bills were reconsidered and passed in line with legislative procedures.

President Buhari, in his letter of rejection, raised concerns about the constitutionality of the bills if passed into law and requested the Senate in the letters to consider the issues raised for their rejection and reconsider the bills.

National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Bill; National Research and Innovation Council Bill; Stamp Duties Act (Amendment) Bill; National Agricultural Seed Council Bill and Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill were Also passed

subsequent the President’s refusal to assent to the listed Bills, the Senate team-up a seven-member technical committee, headed by Senator David Umaru, Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters, to gaze into the constitutional and legal implications of withholding of assent to the bills by the President and to make appropriate recommendations on the way forward.

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In its 34-page report, the committee recommended that the Senate should re-consider and pass again 11 bills, including the five Constitutional Amendment bills; it should override the President’s veto on a Constitutional Amendment Bill, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2018; and that the Senate should entirely remove four other Bills. The committee reviewed six constitutional adjustment bills and 11 private member bills

Senate President Bukola Saraki directed the Senate secretariat to take note of the observations and corrections made by senators and guarantee that they were reflected in the bills before transmitting them to the President for assent.

No explanation was given by Senate Leader Ahmad Lawan, on why they were not considered. The two bills were not considered at the end of plenary.

The two affected bills slated for override, but not considered are: Fourth Alteration Bill No. 28, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill.

The second reading of the bills was the second stage of the override process.

If the bills pass the third reading with the required two-third majority (73 senators) and secure the concurrence of the House of Representatives, the two bills will become a law.

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The Forth Alteration No. 28 Bill is a constitution amendment, which seeks to make available for the time within which the President or Governor shall lay the Appropriation Bill before the National or State Assembly.

President Buhari declined assent to the bill on the grounds that it did not take cognisance of the provisions of Section 58(4) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

On the other hand, Industrial Development Amendment Bill, if passed, will enable companies to expand their operations in pioneer industry or product to apply for a new pioneer status.

President Buhari declined assent to the bill on the grounds that ongoing inter-ministerial consultations would be affected if the bill was signed into law.

The bill also seeks to encourage early presentation and passage of Appropriation Bills.

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