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The Senate yesterday passed 15 bills, including the reworked Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), which President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier declined assent to.
The passage followed the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan’s reintroduction of the redrafted bill at a plenary presided over by Senate President Bukola Saraki in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in exercising his powers in accordance with provisions of the 1999 Constitution, declined assent to the bill, raising some observations. Lawan noted that a technical committee of the Senate had worked on Buhari’s observations and redrafted the affected clauses. Having rely or order 88(b)(c), the redrafted clauses were committed to the Committee of Whole for legislative consideration and passage.
The committee, chaired by Saraki, therefore, approved the clause-by-clause consideration of the bill. The bill, which has generated controversies among Nigerians, has also been passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday. The redrafted bill will, again, be transmitted by the National Assembly to Buhari for his assent.
Among the bills passed is the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Administration Service Bill 2019, which seeks to re-introduce park-and-pay system in Abuja.
Seven out of the 17 bills passed were those from House of Representatives, which went through concurrence.
Three of the bills that were passed after both second and third readings, include the City University of Technology, Yaba, Lagos Bill 2019, which upgraded Yaba College of Technology to a university; Federal Polytechnic, Iwerekun, Ibeju-Lekki Establishment Bill and the Federal College of Education (Technical), Korinya, Benue State Establishment Bill.
The seven bills sponsored by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North), that went through concurrence include the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Administration Service Bill 2019; Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; University Veterinary Teaching Hospitals and Veterinary Specialist Hospital, Abuja (Constitution of Boards) Bill 2019; Obafemi Awolowo University (Transitional Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; National Biosafety Management Agency Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; University of Maiduguri Act (Amendment) Bill 2019; and Defence Intelligence Agency Civilian Pension Board (Est, etc) Bill 2019.
The five other bills that were passed after going through the third reading are National Road Fund (Establishment, etc) Bill; School of Mines and Geological Studies, Guyuk, Adamawa State (Est, etc) Bill 2019; Federal University, Uga (Est, etc) Bill; Federal University of Aquatic Studies, Ogharu, Anambra State ( Est, etc) Bill 2019; and the Federal College of Education (Technical), Aghoro, Bayelsa State (Est, etc) Bill 2019.
Specifically, the FCT Directorate of Road Traffic Administration Service Bill 2019 seeks to establish road traffic and motor vehicle administration service agency in the Federal Capital Territory.
The proposed agency, if the bill is assented to by Buhari, will among others, review the parking fees and enforce the parking laws in the FCT.
The new bill empowers the FCT administration, in collaboration with the FCT Internal Revenue Service, to embark on the overall enforcement of parking rules.
The bill also saddles the proposed agency with the responsibilities of producing and administering vehicle and drivers’ licences in collaboration with relevant federal agencies.
The specific functions of the FCT traffic management service as contained in the bill include regulating road traffic management and motor vehicle administration within the FCT.
The agency will also regulate, register, revoke, licence and renew motor vehicle documents and issuance of vehicle identification number plates in the FCT.
It will also conduct a road-worthiness test and issue road-worthiness certificates to all categories of vehicles for the purposes of ridding the FCT of non-road worthy vehicles.
The agency will be responsible for training and testing drivers to ensure competence for issuance of driver’s licences in the FCT.
The Senate, in March, adopted the report of Technical Committee on Declined Assent to Bills chaired by Sen. David Umaru, which worked on Mr President’s observations and redrafted the affected clauses in the bill.