Indications have emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari is likely employ five proposed laws to fight corruption in the country.
Vanguard reports with reference to the sources close to presidency that a committee led by Yemi Osinbajo, Nigeria's vice president, identified five bills already directed to Buhari for consideration. Those are the Office of the Financial Ombudsman Bill 2015, National Convicts and Criminal Records Bill 2015, Electronic Transactions Bill 2015, Whistle Blower Protection Bill 2015 and the Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill 2015 (considered in detail below).
The anti-corruption bills were reportedly among 46 bills swiftly passed by the immediate past Senate.
Presidential media aide Garba Shehu confirmed Buhari's interest in the provided bills, but refused to give more information on the development.
Sources disclose details
"A Committee of legends in law led by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) is putting finishing touches to a recommendation that will request President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to five of the 46 bills hurriedly passed by the 7th National Assembly at the point of its exit."
The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill
Sponsored by former Senator Ganiyu
Meant "to provide for the manner in which individuals may, in the public interest, disclose information that relates to unlawful or other illegal conduct or corrupt practices of others; to provide for the protection against victimisation of persons who make these disclosures".
Targeting: It is supposed to protect individuals who give out information on alleged malfeasances in government to security agencies.
Solomon first introduced the bill in 2007, but did not get the National Assembly support.
The Electronic Transaction Bill, 2011
Sponsored by a former member of the House of Representatives, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta
Meant to provide the legal framework for electronic transactions in the country; facilitate e-government services and promote transparency in the transaction of government businesses.
Targeting: Relevant for security agencies in the wake of increasing transition of the country from a cash-based economy towards a cashless economy facilitated by electronic channels.
The Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill
Meant to produce three separate agencies (the Nigeria International Financial Centre Authority, Nigeria Internal Financial Centre Regulatory Authority and the Nigeria International Financial Centre Judicial Authority) that would properly position Nigeria at the centre of global finance and as such attract international finance into the local economy.
The Office of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman, 2015
Meant to establish the Office of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman, as an independent body that would resolve financial and related disputes in the financial services sector.
The Convicts and Criminal Records Bill, 2015
Meant to ensure a proper documentation of convicts and criminals for the purpose of keeping a record of criminals in the country.
It should be noted that one of the major focuses of Buhari's election campaign was a pledge to tackle corruption in the country. He identified it as one of the fundamental challenges that Nigeria is facing.