This week’s highlight of activities around the Nigeran federal parliament spotlights President Buhari’s meeting with the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on the CBN’s Cashless Policy and his assent to ten bills
The last week threw up a lot of challenges for Nigerians across the country, especially with pockets of protests against naira scarcity rife around the country while the non-availability of petrol persists. Thus, very little was heard from lawmakers in both chambers.
ON NAIRA SCARCITY
The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Naira Redesign and Swap Policy on Thursday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja.
The lawmakers led by the Committee Chairman, Rep. Alhassan Ado Doguwa (APC, Kano), had met with Mr President hours after his nationwide broadcast, where he declared that the old N200 bank notes be recirculated as legal tender for 60 days up till April 10 2023, when it officially ceases to be legal tender.
According to a statement issued by Rep. Doguwa, the legislative panel appreciated some of the good decisions by the President as contained in his national broadcast but insisted that a lot must be done to mitigate the suffering of the masses.
READ ALSO: Naira Swap: “10-day extension is not the solution” – Reps to CBN
“The steps taken so far by Mr President leave much to be desired. The policy is, at this time, very unpopular and is capable of creating a crisis in the country that could jeopardize the upcoming general elections.
Mr President may, of course, have good intentions in using the policy to tackle insecurity, reduce corruption and engender the global best practice in fiscal policy management, but unfortunately, due to wrong timing and the work of some criminal elements in both the CBN and the commercial banks, Nigerians are left suffering,” the panel said.
Urging Nigerians to be calm and maintain law and order, he said the parliament would continue to side with the masses and resist any policy that aggravates their sufferings.
“We also urge Nigerians to continue to be calm and pursue their lawful businesses within the ambit of the law as we will continue to explore available opportunities to make sure that the government does only what is right and in the overall interest of our people,” he said.
ASSENT TO BILLS
In furtherance of Section 58 (4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assented to Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022 passed by the National Assembly.
Sent by the Executive to the National Assembly, the eventual Act is aimed at ensuring the ease of doing business and transparency, efficiency, and productivity in Nigeria. Thus, it amended relevant pieces of legislation to promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria and institutionalise all the reforms to ease implementation. It, among other things applies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The President also gave his assent to five other bills namely:
A. National Commission for Colleges of Education Bill, 2022
B. School of Mines and Geological Studies (Establishment) Bill, 2022
C. Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ibusa (Establishment) Bill 2022
D. Federal College of Education (Technical), Keana Bill, (Establishment) Bill 2022 and
E. National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill, 2022.
READ ALSO: National Assembly Scorecard: Bills Tally of the 109 Senators & 360 Reps
In a related development, President Buhari has assented to the Defence Research and Development Bureau Bill 2022 and three other pieces of legislation recently passed by the National Assembly.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, announced this in a statement released on Wednesday, in Abuja.
The Defence Research and Development Bureau Act 2022, establishes the Defence Research and Development Bureau to conduct and coordinate robust research and development in the Armed Forces of Nigeria and provides for a realistic defence policy for basic and applied research on defence items and equipment.
It is also aimed at initiating and coordinating the scientific, technological, and environmental research activities of the Armed Forces. According to Senator Omoworare, President Buhari also signed three other bills into law namely:
A. National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Bill 2022
The Act repeals the National Commission for Refugees Act, Cap. N21 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and enacts the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons Act, 2022 to provide a framework for the management, rehabilitation, return, reintegration, and resettlement of the victims of displacement, migrants, refugees and other persons of concern.
B. The Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Bill 2022
The Act repeals the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation Act, Cap. N137 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and enacts the Nigerian Tourism Development Authority Act, 2022, to develop and promote Nigeria as a travel and tourism destination.
C. National Assembly Library Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2022
The Act establishes the National Assembly Trust Fund for the purpose of research provision of library equipment and related facilities and enhances the research capacity of legislators and staff of the National Assembly Library.