President Muhammadu Buhari has declined his assent to three bills which were recently passed by both the Senate and he House of Representatives on the grounds of “lack of clarity” on each of the legislations.
The president, in a letter to the National Assembly leadership, dated January 25, 2018, and titled: ‘Presidential Decision to Decline Assent to Three Bills Recently Passed by the National Assembly in December 2017”, highlighted the reasons for withholding his assent on the bills.
He said the Police Procurement Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2017 lacked clarity regarding the manner of disbursement of funds as well as constitutional powers of the National Assembly to appropriate funds allocated to the 36 state governments and 774 local governments- which according to him, conflict with Sections 80-82, and 120-122 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Equally rejected was the Nigerian Council for Social Work (Establishment Bill), 2017 which Buhari said lacked clarity over the scope of the profession of “social work” that the bill prohibits all persons who are not members of the institute from practising.
In his letter which he personally signed, a copy which was addressed to the House Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara and read during plenary, the president similarly refused to sign the Chartered Institute of Public Management of Nigeria Bill, 2017 into law.
He explained that the legislation also lacked clarity over the scope of the profession of “public management” that the bill prohibits all persons who are not members of the institute from practising.
Having declined his assent to the bills, nonetheless, the Senate and House are still empowered constitutionally to override the president and pass the bills if they so desire by two-thirds majority votes in both chambers.