Former President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight-year administration ended on Monday, May 29, ushering in the era of President Bola Tinubu.
Buhari became president in 2015 amid heightened hope that he would be a messianic figure who would rescue the country from a downslide.
Also, as a former military head of state, Buhari’s ascendance into power was under the change mantra, in which he promised Nigerians a more profitable deal than the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration offered the country.
Before vacating office on Monday, Buhari claimed his administration had been one of the best things to happen to the country. He argued that the government had fulfilled most, if not all, of the promises it made to Nigerians during its campaigns.
However, opinions are divided on whether the administration dwarfed the performance of previous governments and kept faith with the people, as the former president had claimed.
In the opinion of many Nigerians, the administration recorded a landmark achievement by signing the 2022 Electoral Act and the constitutional amendment allowing states to license, generate, transmit, and distribute electricity.
However, not many were happy with the previous administration for leaving out other key legislative bills passed by the National Assembly.
The Daily Post examines some of the key anticipated legislative bills Buhari refused to assent to before he left office.
Nigerian Peace Corp (Establishment) Bill
The Bill sought to give legal backing to the establishment of the Peace Corps as a government parastatal and allow all serving members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria, both regular and volunteers, to be absolved into the proposed organization at commencement. It was hoped that the Corps would have absolved several unemployed Nigerians.
Sexual Harassment of Students in Tertiary Educational Institutions (Prohibition) Bill, 2020
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, sponsored the bill.
With 25 clauses, the bill sought to promote and protect ethical standards in tertiary institutions. It also sought to protect students against sexual harassment by educators in tertiary institutions. It also proposed up to a 14-year jail term for offenders.
Bill for the Creation of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government
The Bill sought an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to Establish the Office of the Accountant–General of the Federal Government separate from the Office of the Accountant–General of the Federation
The Fifth Alteration Bill Number 24
It sought an Act to Alter the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to empower the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly to summon the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governors of States to answer questions on issues on which the National and State Houses of Assembly have the power to make laws.
The Fifth Amendment Bill Number 29
This sought an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to provide for a State of the Nation and State of the State Address by the President and Governor.
Speaking to the Daily Post in an interview, the President of the Civil Rights Realization and Advancement Network (CRRAN), Olu Omotayo, lamented about both the financial and human resources wasted in passing those bills.
Omotayo said that the National Assembly wasn’t radical as it lacked the necessary bite to keep the executive on its toes.
“It is unfortunate that the president, before leaving office, did not assent to some bills passed by the National Assembly, notably the Peace Corps bill.
“The implication is that both financial and human resources made towards the actualization of the passage of those bills automatically become a wasted effort.
“The National Assembly is also part of the problem because if they actually considered the importance of some of these bills, they should have passed them in time so that if the President withholds assent for 60 days, they could, after the expiration of 60 days, re-pass the bill and it becomes law.
“It is unfortunate that the outgoing National Assembly was not radical in its approach, thereby lacking the necessary biting force to keep the executive on its toes,” he said.