House passes Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill
The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was passed at the plenary session of May 8 by the House of Representatives.
This is coming after the president declined assent based on certain sections that needed to be re-drafted.
One of the sections, among others, he indicated in his letter to the House was Section 18 – Power to issue Duplicate Voters Card. The new Bill provides an amendment to Section 18 to reflect that a replacement voter’s card should be applied for in not less than 60 days before polling day.
Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill
On the 8th of May 2019, a message from the President dated April 26th, was read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki during plenary conveying the President’s decision to decline assent to the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2019 and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority Bill.
The Bill seeks to amend the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act, No. 81 of 1992 to further empower the corporation to carry out its regulatory functions, make it more effective and bring it in line with the current dispensation, and to provide for other matters relating thereto.
As part of what necessitated the rejections, Saraki stated as related to the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Act (Repeal and Enactment) Bill that the provisions of section 14(d), section 30(2) (d) and 32 of the Bill contradicts Section 4(1)-(3) and paragraph 60(d) of the second schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Section 30 of the Bill proposes to levy a tourism fee on all in-bound international travelers; a tourism departure levy on all out-bound international travelers; a tourism departure contribution levy of 1% per hotel room rate of such flat fee as may be fixed by the authority; and a corporate tourism development levy of 1% to be charged on the revenue of banks, telecommunications and other corporate entities. This according to the President would be inimical to the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in Nigeria and would constitute additional burden on tourists and business concerns.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority Bill, was declined assent for the comprehensive definition of Nigerian Inland Waterways which covers practically all rivers, creeks, lakes and lagoons within the country irrespective of the location of the body. The Bill contradicts provisions of the Constitution which limits the power of the National Assembly to make laws in relation to water from sources affecting more than one state of inland waterways which have been declared to be an international waterway or an inter-state waterway.
This Bill, sponsored by Senator Dalhatu S. Tafida, seeks to Repeal the National Inland Waterways Authority Act No.47 LFN 2004 and Re-enact the National Inland Waterways Agency to provide for the Regulation, Management, Direction and Control of the Inland Waterways for Navigation, Provision of River Ports Services, Safety Operations and Security, Survey Examination and Registration of Inland River Crafts (including Boats, Barges, Non-conventional and Fishing Vessels, Canoes, all of 15 tons and below), encourages Private Sector participation in Ferry and Dockyard Services, the Establishment of National Inland Waterways Agency among other things.
The decision to decline assent to the Bills brings to over 30 the number of Bills rejected by the President since the inauguration of the 8th Senate.
Nigeria soon to be a member of FATF with passage of Proceeds of Crime Bill, 2019
A motion was made for the Proceeds of Crimes Bill on May 8, which was passed by the Senate and awaiting harmonization by the Conference committee. It was stated that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has a fundamental role to play as an anti-corruption entity in the operation of the Proceeds of Crime recovery and management agency established by the Proceeds of Crime Bill. It was also noted that the NFIU in the governing board of the Agency is critical and in accordance with global best practice.
They therefore resolved to rescind the decision on Clause 5(2) of the Bill as passed and re-commit same to the Committee of Whole for re-consideration and passage.
The Proceeds of Crime Bill, which is sponsored by the Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, Mr Kayode Oladele, provides a legal and institutional framework for the confiscation, seizure, forfeiture, recovery and management of assets or proceeds derived from unlawful activities; and instrumentalities used or intended to be used in the commission of unlawful activities. The Bill seeks to harmonise and consolidate the existing legislative framework on the recovery of proceeds of crime and related matters in Nigeria.
The passage of the Proceeds of Crime Bill will pave the way for Nigeria to become a full member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The bill is one of the key requirements for the membership of the global body where only South Africa represents the African Continent presently.
Nigerian Correctional Service Bill
A motion was made on the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill which the president had earlier withheld assent based on the observation on Clauses 17(5) and 44(d).
The Senate stated that a Technical Committee of the Senate had worked on the President’s observations and redrafted the affected Clauses. The Senate As a result, the Senate rescinded its earlier decision on Clauses 17(5) and 44(d) of the Bill and resolved to refer the Bill to the Committee of the Whole for consideration of a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Prisons Act, Cap. P29, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Enact the Nigerian Correctional Service Bill, to provide for the Administration of Prisons and non-custodial measures in Nigeria; and for related matters, 2019 and subsequent passage.
This Bill seeks to amend the Prison’s Act 1972 to provide for Educational, Rehabilitative and Reformative programs for inmates’ constructive development and re-orientation, re-integration into the mainstream of society, and consequently reduction of rate of recidivism.
In addition, it also seeks to refocus the purpose of imprisonment; to establish a self-sustaining prison system and reduce the financial cost to the State and the tax payers.
Bill read at the House for the first time
- Council for Regulation of Travel and Tour Management Companies of Nigeria (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1321)
- Dieticians Council of Nigeria (establishment, etc.) Bill, 2019 (HB. 547)
- Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2019 (HB. 1571)
- Chartered Institute of Social Work Practitioners (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1258)
Second Time Reading
- Federal Audit Service Commission (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 742) – The Bill is for an Act to establish the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation, provide for additional powers and functions to the office; establish the Federal Audit Service Commission; repeal the Audit Act 1956, the Public Accounts Committees Act, CAP. P35 LFN 2004, and enact the Federal Audit Service Commission and for Other Related Matters Thereto, 2019.
The Bill was read the Second Time on May 8 and referred to the Public Accounts Committee.
- Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act CAP.17, LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (SB.734) – The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Trade and Investment.
- Export (Prohibition) Act, CAP E22 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB. 575) – The Bill is for an Act to Repeal the provisions of the Export (Prohibition) Act, to allow for the exportation of certain foodstuff from Nigeria and for other related matters 2019. It was also referred to the Committee on Trade and Investment on May 8.