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The number of bills passed by the Eighth National Assembly and rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari since assumption of office in May 2015 has risen to 39.
On Tuesday, President Buhari declined assent to the second version of the National Transport Commission Bill.
In a letter addressed to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and read at Plenary, President Buhari said some sections of the National Transport Commission Bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies.
This is the second time the President is rejecting the proposed legislation, having withheld his assent to the first version of the bill in December 2018.
But in February 2019, the Senate passed the Conference Committee Report of the NTC Bill, after giving effect to the observations made by the President.
The bill seeks to establish the National Transport Commission as an economic regulator of all activities undertaken in Nigeria’s transport sector.
According to the proposed legislation, the Commission would replace the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and operate as an independent regulator to promote multimodal transport and boost private sector participation in the provision of transport services.
It empowers the NTC to be responsible for creating equitable access to transport services as well as regulating the tariffs, rates and charges paid by transport service users.
Last month, the President equally rejected the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, increasing the number of declined bills from 38 to 39.
Similarly, in March, the President had rejected eight new bills passed by the National Assembly.
The bills included the controversial National Housing Fund Bill, Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund Bill, Nigerian Aeronautical Search and Rescue Bill, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency Bill and National Biotechnology Development Agency Bill.
Others were the National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill as well as the Chattered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill.
Other bills earlier rejected by Buhari since 2015 include the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Est.) Bill, National Research and Innovation Council (Est.) Bill and National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill.
Also rejected were: Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill, Chattered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Est.) Bill, Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill, Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill as well as six constitution amendment bills.
Others include: Nigerian Film Corporation Bill, Immigration (Amendment) Bill, Climate Change Bill, Chattered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill, Digital Rights and Freedom Bill, National Transport Commission Bill, Federal Road Authority (Establishment) Bill, National Broadcasting Commission Amendment Bill, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) Act (Amendment) Bill and Federal Polytechnics Act (Amendment) Bill.
The President also rejected the four versions of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill passed by the Eighth National Assembly.
In a statement issued last month, Senate President, Bukola Saraki had revealed that Executive arm of government headed by Buhari managed to sponsor 11 bills in the last four years.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja