Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, on Thursday disclosed that report on the exercise would be ready for submission to the Senate plenary at the end of the first quarter of 2021.
This is even as he explained that the proposed alteration in the nation’s rule book would make it more gender friendly and affirm equal rights to women in the country, adding that it would strengthen the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC; Federal Character Commission, FCC and other oversight agencies, as well as address the challenges of residency and indigeneship.’
Omo-Agege, who is also the Deputy Senate President, spoke at the inaugural meeting of the 58-member committee on constitution review in Abuja, sentatives, apart from other stakeholders in the various Houses of Assembly and members of the public.”
”The need to address the federal structure of the country to be in tandem with our history and modern realities, the need to revisit socio-economic and cultural rights as entrenched in Chapter 2 of the Constitution as fundamental principles of state policy, electoral reforms to make our electoral system credible, free and fair, fiscal federalism and revenue allocation, comprehensive judicial reforms are other areas that need review,” he added.
Omo-Agege said while the lawmakers await the full resumption of activities at the committee level compilation of all the Constitution alteration bills referred to them and gazetted are being collated for the process in due course.
He said: ”As you all know, we are on recess but the fact that we are here today to deliberate on the assignment of the Constitutional Review underscores the importance that we attach to this responsibility.
“The steering committee of the committee comprising of all Principal Officers of the Senate held two meetings on the 26th of February, 2020 and on the 3rd of June, 2020, respectively, to work out the modalities for carrying out this very important national assignment.’
”Among the major fallout or outcome of the meetings were that the el-Rufai report on restructuring and the 2014 Constitutional Conference report were recommended to be part of the Committee’s working documents which has been obtained by the secretariat of the Committee for duplication and circulation to members.”
”In pursuant of this, our secretariat has obtained all the Bills for the alteration of the Constitution referred so far to our counterparts in the House of Representatives and we have transmitted ours to them for further legislative activities. Over the years the National Assembly had identified a piecemeal approach to the alteration of the 1999 Constitution. This Constitution review process presents another opportunity for Nigerians to look at these issues again.”
”We are aware that the process of making or altering the Constitution is as important as the content. This review process will therefore be guided by the principle of inclusivity and participation.
“The secretariat has put in place a mechanism that the majority of Nigerians are abreast with this Constitution review exercise to that extent, it has conducted a mapping of stakeholders that have been engaging in the Constitution review exercise since 1999.
“We have collated previous reports such as the 2014 Constitutional Conference Report and the el-Rufai’s report on restructuring which are being analyzed.”
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