Buhari’s Government sent only 12 Bills to National Assembly in 3 Years

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Documents available at the Rules and Business Committees of the National Assembly have indicated that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari sent only 12 bills to the parliament in the last three years.

These bills are outside the mandatory money bills (Appropriation bills), which the Constitution requires the President to present within every financial year.

It has also been revealed that out of the 12 bills sent to the parliament for passage since June 9, 2015, only two were targeted at enhancing the much talked about anti-corruption war.

The two included the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2016 and the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2016.

While the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters bill has been passed by the lawmakers, the Money Laundering bill has been withdrawn by the executive due to alleged disagreement between the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

The Bills sponsored in both chambers of the National Assembly by the Executive included: Communications Service Tax Bill 2015; Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2011 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2016; Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2016; Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria (Est. etc,) Bill, 2017; National Lottery Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and the National Water Resources Bill, 2017.

Other bills by the executive are listed as including the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Est. etc,) Bill, 2017; Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors in Nigeria (Est. etc,) Bill, 2017; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Bill, 2017; Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2018; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Est. etc,) Bill, 2018 and the Minerals and Mining Bills, 2018.

But the lawmakers on their own have passed four other anti-corruption bills in the last three years. The four bills passed to enhance the anti-corruption war in the Senate include the Witness Protection Bill; the Whistle-blower Protection Bill; Federal Audit Service Commission Bill and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Bill (NFIU).

Once a bill is passed in one chamber, the lawmakers follow the rule of concurrence and pass the same without going through the First and Second Readings.

The lawmakers have recently laid the report of the Chartered Institute of Directors of Nigeria (Establishment etc,) Bill, 2017 and the bill is said to be awaiting final consideration and passage.
The remaining executive bills are said to be at different stages of consideration.

In the previous dispensations, executive bills usually form the bulk of legislative considerations.
Sources have said that the paltry number of bills sent by the executive could be indicative of the relationship between the two arms of government.

A source in the legislature, however, said that the development was unhealthy for a government that promised to change and the need to overhaul the system.

But in the Senate alone, the lawmakers have passed 213 bills since inauguration on June 9, 2015, it has cleared 138 petitions among other assignments.

But the National Water Resources Bill, 2017 ran into stormy waters and was stood down following the polarisation of the Senate chamber along geopolitical lines during its consideration.


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