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Constitutional amendments: NASS votes on 68 amendments



Members of the Senate and House of Representatives to set to vote on the 68 proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution.

Both chambers are expected to vote separately on the amendments, during plenary sessions.

The report of the constitution review, which contains the proposed amendments, was laid at both chambers last week by the ad hoc committees constituted to review the document.

Some of the key amendments on which the lawmakers will vote include abrogating state and local governments’ joint accounts, financial autonomy for state assemblies and judiciary, legislative summons, life pension for the presiding officers of the National Assembly, virtual court proceedings, Diaspora voting and extra seats for women in the parliament.

Others are Independent candidacy, mayor for Abuja, power of the parliament to summon president, governor, immunity for the presiding officers of the legislature, timeframe for appointing ministers and commissioners, expanding the scope of citizenship by registration and separating the office of the attorney general from the Minister of Justice and moving VAT to exclusive legislative list.

The lawmakers are expected to vote on the bills electronically.

The current alteration of the Nigerian Constitution will be the fifth since the document came into effect in 1999.

For the amendment and voting process to be successful, two-thirds membership of the entire Senate or House is required,
and some provisions require four-fifths membership of the chamber.

After the voting process, the bills that are approved will be sent to the 36 states for voting and approval.

It is mandatory that each alteration passed by the National Assembly receives the support of a majority of votes in at least two-thirds of State Houses of Assembly in the federation.

The amendments that receive such approvals will be sent to the president for assent.

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