President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday declined assent to a bill seeking to fund the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company, which was forwarded to him by the National Assembly in February this year.
According to Channels Television: The President has declined assent to eight bills passed by the National Assembly.
The President communicated his decision to decline assent to the bills in letters written to the Senate and read on the floor on Tuesday by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
The bills rejected are the Ajaokuta Steel Company Completion Fund, Nigerian Aeronautical Search and Rescue, Chartered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment), and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria.
Others are National Housing Fund Bill, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bill, National Institute of Credit Administration Bill, as well as Chartered Institute of Training and Development of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill.
In the letter rejecting the Ajaokuta Company Completion Fund Bill, President Buhari explained that appropriating $1 billion from Excess Crude Account for funding the project as stipulated in the bill was not the best strategic option for Nigeria at this time of budgetary constraints.
He stressed that Nigeria cannot afford to commit such an amount in the midst of competing priorities with long term social and economic impact that the funds can be attentively deployed towards.
President Buhari also explained why he decline assent to the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Bill.
According to him, this is because the agency will have similar objectives with the Bank of industry, particularly with regard to the funding of Small and Medium Enterprises.