Senate overturns Buhari’s veto on seven bills

The Senate on Wednesday passed seven bills vetoed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is coming as the upper chamber initiated the override of the president on the Fourth Alteration Bill No.28; a constitutional amendment that seeks to mandate the President and state governors to present annual budget estimates before legislature at most three months to the end of a financial year. It also seeks to encourage early presentation and passage of Appropriation Bills.

The Senate said that the bills were reconsidered and passed in line with legislative procedures.

The Senate however passed seven of the at least 16 bills rejected so far this year by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The bills are the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism Bill, National Research and Innovation Council Bill, Stamp Duties Act (Amendment) Bill, National Agricultural Seed Council Bill, Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (Amendment) Bill and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill.

Buhari, in his letter of rejection, raised concerns about the constitutionality of the bills if passed into law and therefore wrote the Senate to reconsider them.

The President had rejected the bill, arguing that it didn’t capture the provisions of Section 58(4) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

With the Industrial Development Amendment Bill, which, if passed, will enable companies expand their operations in pioneer industry or product to apply for a new pioneer status, the President had declined, saying assenting to it would interfere with ongoing inter-ministerial consultations.

Though the Senate had listed both bills — the Fourth Alteration Bill No.28 and the Industrial Development Amendment Bill — in its Order Paper for the day as meant to be overruled. The two bills were not considered at the end of plenary.

No explanation was given by the Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan about why they were not considered.

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 upper chamber relisted the Fourth Alteration Bill No. 28, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill yesterday.

Both passed second reading.

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

If the bills pass the third reading with the required by 2/3 majority (73 senators) and go secure the concurrence of the House of Representatives, the two bills will become a law.


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