Rejected bills rise to 41 as President Buhari declines signing two others.
President Muhammadu Buhari has again declined assent to two more bills transmitted to him from the National Assembly, bringing the number of rejected bills to 41 since June 9, 2015.
Buhari conveyed his decision to withdraw assent to the Nigeria Tourism Development Authority Bill and Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority Bill in two separate letters to Senate President, Bukola Saraki and read at plenary.
Giving reasons for declining assent, President Buhari said section 14(d), section 30(2d) of the Nigeria Tourism Development Authority (Repeal and re-enactment) bill contradicts section 4 (1-3) and paragraph 60 (d) of the second schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
He argued that Section 30 of the bill proposed tourism fee on all inbound international travelers, tourism levy on all outbound travelers and one percent tourism departure contribution fee per hotel room rate.
It also fixed flat fee by the authority and a one percent corporate tourism development levy to be charged on revenues of banks’, telecommunications firms and other corporate entities.
“This will be inimical to the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in the country and constitute an additional burden on the tourism business,” the letter reads.
The President also said he rejected the Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) Bill based on funding and overlap of functions.
“The bill as currently drafted subjected the Ministry of Water Resources, the Ministry of Environment and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to the supervision of NIWA.
Buhari had last week Tuesday declined assent to the second version of the National Transport Commission Bill.
In a letter to Saraki, the President noted that some sections of the National Transport Commission Bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies.
In April, the President rejected the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, increasing the number of declined bills from 38 to 39.
Similarly, in March, he had rejected eight new bills passed by the National Assembly.
They are the 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 National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria Bill and the Chattered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill.
Since the June 9, 2015 inauguration of the Eighth National Assembly, the President had declined assent to 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, among others.
Saraki in a statement issued last month revealed that the Executive arm of government headed by Buhari sponsored only 11 bills in the last four years.