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Senate dares Buhari as president rejects 39 bills

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NASS leader, Saraki. Photo/Twitter/NGRSenate

0A legislative action that would culminate in the overriding of the veto of President Muhammadu Buhari on the Industrial Development Act (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill has been endorsed by the Senate.

The upper legislative chamber’s endorsement came when it passed the first reading on Tuesday, thereby concluding the preliminary legislative step for the override.

The next step would require the chamber to re-debate the general principles of the bill, pass its second reading and subsequently muster two third majority to pass the piece of legislation at the third reading.

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The bill is one of the 39 vetoed bills the lawmakers resolved earlier last month to veto.

The proposed legislation, earlier rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, seeks to provide for additional incentives for some categories of investments and increase the value of the minimum qualifying capital expenditure (QCE) from companies applying for pioneer certificates.

The proposal, which was earlier passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly, moves to amend Sections 1, 2, 3, 11 and 25 of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.

It also provides that companies that are in the process of expanding their operations to cover pioneer industries and/or products would be eligible for the issuance of the certificate, even as firms whose applications were previously denied on grounds of expansion could reapply.

Tagged “Industrial Development Act (Income Tax Relief) Amendment Bill, 2019 (SB. 734), it was sponsored by Sabo Mohammed (APC, Jigawa State).

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Buhari had in 2018 declined assent, citing that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment was consulting with other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) on the “tax holiday incentive regime for expansion projects.”

This, the president explained, would pave the way for presidential orders and executive bills for approval by the National Assembly.

However, earlier last month, the Senate adopted the report of its Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills by the President.

In rejecting the president’s submission, the David Umaru-led panel had argued that Buhari was at liberty to either propose an amendment or repeal same.

Meanwhile, the bills passed by the Eighth National Assembly and vetoed by the president since May 2015 have risen to 39.

This came to light as Buhari declined assent to the second version of the National Transport Commission Bill yesterday.

In a letter addressed to Senate President Bukola Saraki, he noted that some sections of the bill contained safety regulations that would duplicate the functions of existing transport agencies.

This is the second time the president is rejecting the proposed legislation, having withheld his assent to the first version in December 2018.


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