Rep setup constitution review committee, gives deadline for completion

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The House Special Committee on Constitution Review was set up by the House of Representatives on Monday to review the 1999 Constitution.

The exercise will be directed by the principles of versatility, unity, inclusivity, and national cohesion, according to Speaker Tajudeen Abbas.

It is anticipated that the constitution revision process will be finished in 24 months.

The committee, which is led by Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, the deputy speaker of the house of representatives, has received over 44 measures that aim to amend the 1999 Constitution on a variety of topics, including local government autonomy, state police, and presidential rotation, among others.

Abbas claims that in order to guarantee that the process has the support of Nigerians, the parliament would collaborate closely with the federal and state branches of the executive branch.

He said, “The process will be deeply rooted in engaging with the Nigerian people at all levels, including traditional and religious institutions, pressure groups and trade unions, ethnoreligious organisations, the diaspora community, and much more.

“We intend to harness the inputs of all Nigerians at the level of senatorial districts through open forum public consultations, and digital platforms, ensuring that every voice is heard and considered.”

Recalling previous exercises, Abbas, who represents the Zaria Federal Constituency, stated that the sixth review would concentrate on “devolution of powers, state policing; enhancement of fiscal federalism through local government autonomy; further decongesting the exclusive legislative list; recognising and assigning constitutional roles for traditional institutions; and promoting inclusivity, particularly greater gender equity and women representation into appointive and elective positions.”

Calling on members of the committee, and Nigerians at large, he urged them  “not to shy away from the complexities and the debates that will arise during this process.”

“Instead, let us embrace them as vital components of a vibrant democracy. The discussions and disagreements are not signs of weakness but rather indications of our strength and diversity. They remind us that we are a nation of many voices, each with something valuable to contribute to our collective future,”

The committee chairman, Kalu, had earlier stated in his inaugural speech that the panel will put out great effort to fulfill its mandate in the following the twenty-four months deadline.

According to Kalu, the committee would make sure that “every voice is heard, every perspective is considered, and every citizen is empowered to participate in the shaping of our nation’s future” as it carries out its mandate.

Some areas of consideration in the amendment to include as stated by kalu “Establishment of state police; state access to mines; increased participation of women in politics; clear specification of the taxes/levies to be collected by each tier of government; and the provision for the office of the Mayor of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

The Deputy Speaker also gave Nigerians assurances that amendments would be made to ideas approved during the most recent constitutional review but disapproved by the President.

“It is important to reiterate that we are willing to accommodate more proposals to enhance our Constitution and strengthen our democracy. In addition, we await executive-sponsored bill proposals that reflect issues on the renewed hope agenda of Mr President,“ Kalu further stated.

Barau Jibrin, ably represented by the Senate President, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, said the utmost values of authenticity, diligence, inclusivity, and cooperation would serve as the process’ guide.

Adding that the process is not only a legislation review, but an amendment with the ability to transform the country’s democracy, and the Senate and House Committees would collaborate effectively to ensure a thorough assessment of the constitution.

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Alex Obichie
Alex Obichie
Alex Obichie is an Ardent Sustainability Enthusiast, advocate for the Waste-2-Wealth Initiative, and Ingenious Politician, he uses articles to promote and sensitize the public about matters surrounding the environment, political systems and ways to benefit & support sustsinable global development.

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