‘Constitution review to be concluded by July’ – NASS

The Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly, (NASS), are reportedly set to pass the Bill for the alteration of the 1999 Constitution as altered before proceeding on annual break in July.

According to a report finding, towards the early passage of the Bill, the National Assembly committees working on it will conclude their assignments and present the bill for clause-by-clause consideration before the lawmakers proceed on annual recess in July.

Already, the report said the Constitution Review Committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives are collating reports from the zonal public hearings held last month across the six geo-political zones of the country.

Picture caption: A Joint session of the National Assembly

The Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review, headed by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, and that of the House of Representatives, headed by Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, had in May held public hearings in 12 cities, at the rate of two per each of the six geo-political zones.

Picture caption: Senate Chamber

Further findings revealed that the outcome of the zonal public hearings are to be put together by the committee members with the assistance of consultants engaged for the exercise.

A senator from the North-Central geo-political zone and member of the Constitution Review Committee told newsmen, on condition of anonymity, that the collation of the aggregate views at the zonal hearings will be worked on at a retreat to be held shortly for the committee members to take a holistic look at the presentations at the public hearings before putting them together into a draft Bill for presentation to the federal lawmakers by July.

He expressed optimism that the Bill will be ready for clause-by-clause consideration by the Senate at plenary before proceeding on its annual vacation in July.

The senator also stated that after the clause-by-clause consideration by the Senate and harmonisation with the House of Representatives, all those clauses that get through will be sent to the 36 State’s Houses of Assembly for consideration and approval.

Picture caption: House of Representatives sitting

According to him, two-thirds of the Houses of Assembly, which is 24 States, must concur with the position of the National Assembly after which the Bill will come back to the National Assembly for further legislative action.

According to him, the current constitution amendment process will see the light of the day as both the executive and the state governments are being carried along in all the moves by the legislative arm to further amend the Constitution.

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