National News

Senate Set To Override Buhari On Two Bills

The Senate is set to override the veto of President Muhammadu Buhari on the constitution amendment (Fourth Alteration No. 28) Bill 1999, and the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) amendment Bill.

The two bills were part of the 17 bills that the president declined to assent.

The constitution amendment bill seeks to stipulate the time within which the president or governor shall lay the Appropriation Bill before the National or State Assembly to ensure early presentation and passage of appropriation bills.

However, President Buhari declined assent saying the bill did not take cognizance of the provisions of Section 58(4) of the Nigerian Constitution.

While the Industrial Development Amendment Bill 2018 seeks to enable companies that expand their operations in a pioneer industry or product to apply for new pioneer status.

The president rejected the bill because the ongoing inter-ministerial consultations would be affected if the bill is signed into law.

The decision to override the president’s decision followed the presentation of the report of the technical committee that reviewed Buhari’s decision to decline assent to some bills.

The committee was mandated to study the rejected bills as well as look at the concerns raised by the president.

Presenting the report, Umaru said the 1999 Constitution gives the Senate the right to override the president in the event that a bill is vetoed.

“Therefore, the bills having been rejected by Mr President, the National Assembly even if it considers Mr President’s observations or not, must pass the bills again and be assented to by Mr President or override the veto, in which case, Mr President’s assent would not be required,” he said.

The resolution to override the president’s veto on the bills and reconsider 15 others was unanimously adopted.

To override the president, the Senate needs at least two-thirds majority, which is at least 73 senators, to endorse the action.

The bills are expected to be represented on the floor of the upper chamber for the normal legislative process, before passage into law.

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