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Buhari rejects five more n’assembly bills



President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected five bills transmitted to him by the national assembly.

The bills are Nigerian Film Commission bill, Immigration Amendment bill 2018, Climate change bill 2018, Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners bill 2018 and Digital Rights and Freedom bill.

The president’s decision to withhold assent to the bills was conveyed via a letter read during plenary on Wednesday.

The president’s reasons for not assenting to the bills, as contained in the letter, range from conflicting and duplication of duties of existing government agencies, their destructive nature as well as lack of clarity.

This comes a day after he rejected two bills passed by the legislative chamber . The development brings to 13, the number of bills Buhari has rejected in 2019.

Buhari said some sections of this bill conflict with some provisions of the National Film and Video Censors Board act.

“Section 1 (k) of the bill states that 1% of the proceeds for the television license for the national broadcasting commission shall be paid into a fund to be controlled by the national film commission; it is in conflict with section 16 (1) of the National Broadcasting Commission Act which stipulates the purpose for which expenditure to be generated by NBC may be used.”

Immigration Amendment bill 2018:

The president raised concerns over the “retroactive effectiveness of the provisions of 38 (5) of the bill and the impact of the section on the ease of doing business initiative of the federal government.”

He also expressed concern that the bill will be “destructive to Nigerians in diaspora if other countries were to reciprocate the provisions of section 38 (5) in their immigration laws.”

Climate Change bill 2018:

The president said the scope and guiding principle of the bill “replicates the function of the federal ministry of environment which is charged with mainstreaming climate responses and actions into government polices but does not suggest the scrapping of the ministry.”

He also said setting up a council as suggested by the bill is expensive to maintain “as it amounts to proliferation of government agencies especially when there are existing agencies already performing the proposed functions.”

Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners bill 2018:

Buhari said he rejected this because the objectives of the Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners created by the bill are similar to the objectives of the Signified Pension Institute of Nigeria which is already in existence.

“Concerns have also been raised in connection with the propriety of the private investigate panel in conducting criminal investigation as suggested by section 8 (1) of the bill.”

Digital Rights and Freedom bill 2018:

According to the president, this bill seeks to cover “too many technical subjects and fails to address any of them extensively.”

“These areas include surveillance and digital protection, lawful interception of communication, digital protection and retention which are currently the subject of various bills pending at national assembly.”

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