The Senate yesterday revealed that it has passed eight bills aimed at strengthening the laws of the country and would send them to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent in the next few days.
They are the Telecommunication and Postal Offences Act (Amendment) bill; National Crop Variety, Livestock Breed (Registration) Act (Amendment) bill; Produce (Enforcement of Export Standards) Act (Amendment) bill; Prevention of Crime Act (Amendment) bill; Water Resources Act (Amendment) bill; National Agricultural Land Development Authority Act (Amendment) bill Bee (Import Control and Management) Act (Amendment) bill and Agricultural and Rural Management Training Act (Amendment) bill.
According to the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, this is in fulfillment of one of the 21-point resolutions passed by the Senate on the economy – to fast-track all economic related bills.
He pointed out that what the Senate had done was to match its words with actions
The upper legislative chamber said it was in receipt of the bills, which it passed on Thursday, to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
“By now it is clear that the senators take Nigeria’ economic situation very seriously,” he said.
“If you recall, one of the points from the 21-point resolution passed by the senate on the economy stated that it would fast-track all economic related bills. What this senate has done is match its words with its actions,” he said, in a statement signed on his behalf by his special adviser on media and publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Senate, penultimate week, after resuming from its recess, gave the federal government guidelines to follow to pull the country’s receding economy out of the woods.
The Senate among others advised the federal government to put in place a pro-business leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector to boost market confidence in the economy and also advised the government to raise money from sale of assets to shore up foreign reserves, calm investors and discourage currency speculation.
The Senate, however, recanted on the sale of assets, saying rather than sell the assets, government can concession and reclaim them later.
Saraki emphasised that the bills were important in ending the present economic impasse.
He said that the bills would be promptly forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
Important highlights of the bills are the amendment to the Telecommunication and Postal Offences Act, which is aimed at increasing some of the prescribed penalties, fines and compensations for non-compliance with the Act. This is intended to help boost investment and participation in the telecommunications sector.
Additionally, the National Crop Variety, Livestock Breed (Registration) Act (Amendment) bill, Produce (Enforcement of Export Standards) Act (Amendment) bill, National Agricultural Land Development Authority Act (Amendment) bill, Bee (Import Control and Management) Act (Amendment) bill, and the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Act (Amendment) bill are all aimed at bolstering the standards in Nigeria’s agricultural sector to help the country achieve more economic diversification.
“Moving forward, Nigerians can expect that the legislature will adopt a united and efficient approach to getting Nigeria’s economy back on track,” Saraki said.
“We will quickly forward these eight bills, which have been passed by both houses of the National Assembly to the president. This is only a first step and we will continue to work to ensure that at the end of our tenure, Nigerians will see that this is a people-centred national assembly.”