The Senate on Tuesday passed the National Tobacco Control Bill 2015 and the Equipment Leasing Bill 2015.
The bill when assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan will repeal the existing “Tobacco Smoking (Control) Act, CAP.T6, LFN 2004’’, enacted in 1990 and amended years later.
The bill will ensure effective regulation and control of production, manufacture, sale, labelling, advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco and tobacco products in Nigeria.
It will also ensure balance between economic consideration and health implications of tobacco manufacture, use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, among other things.
The Equipment Leasing Bill is intended to regulate the business of equipment leasing in Nigeria.
It is proposed to bring sanity and certainty to the practice of leasing in Nigeria as well as protect the lessees (users) and the lessors (owners).
The issue of the bill, however, became a subject of litigation following resolution by the lawmakers to override the president, who withheld assent to the bill after pointing out some ‘’defects’’ in it, as passed.
The furore generated by the development forced the executive to approach the court for intervention in the matter.
And, the Supreme Court in a ruling on Wednesday ordered the executive and the National Assembly to maintain the status quo until June 18 when it hoped to decide on the matter.
The senate on Tuesday listed the matter for discussion, which was later deferred to Wednesday following a motion by Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba.
Addressing the senators after the motion, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, announced that the senators would go into a closed-door meeting on Wednesday to discuss on the issue.
Ekweremadu, who is also Chairman, Joint Committee on Constitution Amendment, urged the senators to be punctual to plenary, saying “we will have a closed-door session tomorrow to discuss this item and respond appropriately.