Buhari rejects digital rights, climate change bills, three others

Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 21 March 2019 | 1,571 times

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•President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has conveyed his decision to veto five bills passed by the National Assembly.

The bills include: Nigerian Film Commission, Immigration amendment act, Climate change, Digital Rights and Freedom and Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners.

Buhari’s rejection is in pursuant to section 15 (4) of the 1999 constitution.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki while reading the letter during Wednesday plenary, highlighted the reasons for Buhari’s decline of assent to the bills which was done on the 5th of March 2019.

The Nigerian Film Commission bill 2018 was rejected because sections 1 (3) (d) (e) of the bill conflicts section 2 (a) (1) (2) of the National Film and Video Censors board act which confers functions in relation to firm exhibition of the National Film and Video Censors board.

He added that “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 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.

“Section 7 (2) (d) of the bill proposed 5% VAT on all film related activities to the national film development fund violates section 40 of the Valued Added Tax and ensuring formula described there in because it averts funds normally distributed to states of the federation.”

The Immigration Amendment bill 2018, according to the President have raised concerns on the retroactive effect on the provisions of section 38 (5) of the bill and the impact of the section on the ease of doing business initiative of the federal government.

“There are also concerns that if passed, 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,” he stated.

Also declined is the Climate Change Bill 2018 because 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.

“Setting up a council as suggested by Section 2 of the bill is expensive to maintain as it amount to proliferation of government agencies especially when there are existing agencies already performing the proposed functions.”

The Chartered Institute of Pension Practitioners Bill 2018 recently passed National Assembly was vetoed because the objectives created by the bill are similar to the objectives of the Signified Pension Institute of Nigeria “which is already in existence and functional and this will amount to duplication of the functions of a separately constituted institute.”

Also, he noted that 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.

On the Digital Rights and Freedom bill 2018, President Buhari stated that it “covers too many technical subjects and fails to address any of them extensively.”

He listed the areas to include surveillance and digital protection, lawful interception of communication, digital protection and retention etc. “which are currently the subject of various bills pending at national assembly. We therefore suggest that the scope of the bill should be limited to the protection of human right within the digital environment to reduce the challenge of duplication and legislative conflict in the future.”

Senate Leader Ahmed Lawan moved that plenary be adjourned to April 2 to enable committees meet with the various agencies of government on the 2019 Budget defence.


Source: News Express

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