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Promoting Good Governance.

Why Buhari rejected over 30 bills in four years – Presidency

SENIOR Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu on Monday explained why President Muhammadu Buhari rejected over 30 bills submitted to him for assent in the past four years of his administration. 

The Presidential aide said the president was always thorough in his approach and thus, would not sign any ‘stupid’ bills into law.

He spoke Live on Monday during a popular television programme, Sunrise Daily, citing the Minimum Wage Bill, later passed into law as an instance.

“Let me say that the president is very methodical in dealing with matters such as this. A president could sit in that powerful office and act like he knows it all and I think in this country, we have had such presidents but President Buhari is different because whenever bills come for signature, he will ask that a long list of stakeholders be drawn up. For example, the minimum wage bill he signed.

“Prior to that, labour groups had been demanding that he sign immediately but he refused and identified all stakeholders, ministers and even the judiciary were made to sign off on it and when this process is on, it takes a lot of time,” says Shehu.

“Sometimes deadlines are issued and re-issued. However, the point is that at the end of it, a thorough job is done so that the president does not sign stupid documents and that is important for this country.”

Buhari is reported to have rejected 34 bills as at April, attributing several reasons for his rejection.

The bills among others include National Research and Innovation Council bill (2007), Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism Establishment Bill (2018).

The presidential aide further blamed members of the 8th Assembly for frustrating the president, especially on the delayed 2018 budget.

Asked to react to claims that the 8th Assembly passed 306 bills, considered the highest number of bills approved by a legislative arm of government in Nigeria’s history while Buhari had the record for the highest number of rejected bills, he insisted that whatever action taken by the president on the delayed or rejected bills were for the benefit of the country.

“The delay which was experienced in 2018 in which the National Assembly held unto the budget for seven months is good enough for the Guinness Book of Records and the president lamented this,” he added.

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