Deputy Speaker Reveals When New Nigerian Constitution Will Be Ready

Benjamin Kalu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the House Committee on Constitution Review, announced on Monday that Nigeria’s new constitution is expected to be ready for presidential assent within the next 24 months.

During the formal inauguration of the House Committee on the review of the 1999 constitution, Kalu emphasized the importance of allowing the President ample time to study proposed alterations before signing them into law, particularly amidst the busy schedule of an election year.

Kalu highlighted the crucial need for constitutional reform in light of the 21st-century realities, stating, “Our constitution, the foundation of our democracy, stands as a testament to our collective aspirations for a just, equitable, and prosperous society.”

He revealed that the House has received various bill proposals, including those for the establishment of state police, state access to mines, increased participation of women in politics, clear tax specifications for each tier of government, and the provision for the office of the Mayor of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja.

Moreover, Kalu mentioned the reintroduction of several bill proposals that didn’t receive presidential assent in the previous constitution alterations.

These include powers of the National Assembly and State Assemblies to summon the President and State governors, as well as requirements for the government to focus on ensuring the rights to food and food security.

Highlighting the dynamic nature of the constitution review process, Kalu expressed the House’s openness to more proposals aimed at enhancing the Constitution and strengthening the nation’s democracy.

He also noted the anticipation of executive-sponsored bill proposals reflecting issues on the renewed hope agenda of the President. Kalu acknowledged past constitutional amendments, such as financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary, redesignating “Prisons” as “Correctional Services,” and transferring certain matters to the concurrent legislative list.

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