Franchise Agreements Regulation Bill Passes Second Reading at House
- Lawmakers propose mandatory appointment of FEC chairman, secretary from different regions
Udora Orizu in Abuja
Members of the House of Representatives at plenary Tuesday, passed through second reading a Bill seeking for an act to create a framework for the regulation of franchising and to guide the relationship between franchisors and franchisees in Nigeria.
The Senate bill, which was sent to the House for concurrence, was opposed by minority lawmakers.
The sponsor, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru, had in his lead debate at the red chamber last year, urged Nigeria to regulate the franchise system in the country in accordance with global best practices.
His argument was premised on efforts to enhance the economic development of the country.
According to him, Nigeria has no law that regulates franchising, hence franchisors who did not register their trademarks prior to granting a franchise maybe exposing Nigerian franchisees to possible litigation.
But when the bill was presented for second reading at the House by Deputy Majority leader, Hon. Peter Akpatason, a member of the main opposition party, Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta), opposed the bill, saying issues the bill seeks to solve is already covered by Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
Corroborating Ossai’s view, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu (PDP, Enugu), also suggested that the leader of the house should address the lawmakers on the economies of it.
However, the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, told Ossai to furnish the lawmakers with details where CAMA has provided for franchise agreements and then bring a motion for recision.
Gbajabiamila thereafter put the bill to a voice vote and it was passed.
Meanwhile, the lawmakers also passed through second reading a bill proposing the appointment of the chairman and secretary of the Federal Character Commission (FEC) from the different regions of the country (North and South).
The proposed legislation titled “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Federal Character Commission (Establishment Etc) Act, 2004 to make the Appointment of the Chairman and Secretary from Different Regions of the Country to Reflect the Principle of Federal Character’, was sponsored by Hon. Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom).
Leading the debate on its general principles, Idem said the bill seeks to, amongst others, put in place a legal framework and guide for the appointment of the two key positions of the Commission to be from the two regions of the country.
According to him, the proposed legislation intends to amend section 9 of the Principal Act for effective administration of the objectives of the commission and equitable distribution of the key positions in the agency.
He said: “This bill seeks to amend the provision of the Act to reinstate the position that the two critical positions to be appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria be expressly and mandatorily from each region of the country for the effective running and administration of the objectives of setting up of the Commission. All the amendments are imputed to strengthen the administration, organisation and management of the commission in line with best practices and global standards.”