By Haruna Salami
President Muhammadu Buhari has just assented to the Federal University of Agriculture Zuru in Kebbi State biil. The new law converts the Federal College of Agriculture, Zuru in Kebbi state to a full fledged university with all the powers and authorities of a university.
By this assent all the principal officers of the University from the chancellor down to the staffer automatically belong to The Federal University of Agriculture, Zuru in Kebbi state.
This was disclosed by Senator Ita Enang, Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) while briefing journalists in the National Assembly Wednesday.
Mr. Enang said the second Bill the President assented to is the Architect Registration Council of Nigeria Amendment bill. “What the bill is about is that it has increased fine or penalty from the N1000 it used to be to N500, 000 in appropriate places and generally enhanced the power of Architect registration process, so this bill is now law and it is an offence to go against it”.
The Special Assistant also explained why President Buhari didn’t attach portfolios to the ministerial nominees saying “this question has been asked for the past 20 years and it is under the 1999 constitution and the constitution says that the President shall appoint persons as ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subject to confirmation of the Senate.
“The constitution did not oblige the President or a governor to attach a ministry or a portfolio in his nomination to the legislature. The reason is that the candidate is screened and cleared as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He is not cleared as a minister of education or minister of health or Industry.
According to him portfolios may change and the structure of government may not be the same, adding that when a minister is screened and cleared, he is assigned a portfolio, it may arise in the course of his assignment the president or the governor decide to reassign him to another ministry.. “That is why the constitution did not make it mandatory to assign portfolio while sending it to the legislature. Therefore the President has not done anything wrong”.
On inauguration of the new ministers, Enang said that the “President upon receipt of the communication from the National Assembly will on a date he will fix and notify the screened and cleared nominee inaugurate them as appropriate”.