ICYMI: Senate Passes Bill to Establish Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund

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The Senate passed a bill to establish the Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund.

The Bill titled “Bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund for the purpose of training, provision of security equipment and related facilities, upgrading the skills of Nigerian Navy personnel; and for related matters”, was adopted on Wednesday.

The passage of the legislation follows consideration of a report by the conference committee on the Nigerian Maritime Safety Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill 2022.

In his presentation, Danjuma Goje, chairman of the conference committee, recalled that the bill was passed in the House of Representatives on September 28, 2021.

According to Goje, the Senate approved the bill for passage after it was sent to the upper house on December 1, 2021, with some minor adjustments.

He said the difference between the two versions of the bill by the two houses necessitated the constitution of a conference committee by the senate on January 18, 2022, for harmonization.

“The mandate of the Conference Committee was therefore to harmonize the area of ​​difference in the two versions of the bill, as passed and to make appropriate recommendations for passage,” Goje said.

He added that the Conference Committee met on February 1, 2022 to deliberate on the difference.

“During deliberations, it was observed by the conference committee that the only difference between the two versions of the bill, as passed by the respective houses, exists in clause 14 of the bill, which deals with the appointment of the Executive Secretary and other staff of the Trust Fund,” said Goje.

“While the House of Representatives version of the bill provides in section 14(1) that the appointment of the executive secretary of the trust fund shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the minister, the version of the Senate provides that such an appointment must be made without recourse to the recommendation of the Minister responsible for Defence.

He said after much deliberation on the difference zone, the conference committee adopted the Senate version.

“They are of the view that such a sensitive appointment should be left to the discretion of the President, in line with the similar appointment on the subject,” he added.

The House subsequently adopted the Report of the Conference Committee in Plenary, and the Bill establishing the Nigerian Maritime Safety Trust Fund was passed after consideration by the Plenary Committee.

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