HoR Receives Reports On 68 Bills To Further Amend 1999 Constitution

The House of Representatives has on Wednesday February 23, 2022 received reports on 68 bills seeking to further amend the 1999 Constitution.

The reports were presented and laid by the Deputy Speaker of the House and Chairman of the Special Adhoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, Rep. Ahmed Idris Wase.

By the provisions of Section 9 of the constitution, a bill seeking to alter any part of the constitution must secure the vote of two-thirds (240) of the 360 members of the House to pass.

Gbajabiamila had already asked every member to endeavour to attend the two sittings next week (Wednesday and Thursday) when the votes would be taken on the proposed amendments.

He described the proposed amendments as “far-reaching.”

Ahead of the presentation of the reports, the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, visited lawmakers on Wednesday and was admitted into the chamber to observe proceedings.

The first lady visited to canvass support for at least three of the bills, which deal with issues relating to women, especially participation in politics, appointments, gender balancing and gender-based violence.

The bills are, “Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Special Seat for Women in the National and State Houses of Assembly; and for Related Matters”; “Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Provide for Affirmative Action for Women in Political Party Administration; and for Related Matters”; and “Bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to, Provide Reserved Quota for Women; and for Related Matters.”

Mrs Buhari visited in company with some female ministers, among them the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen; Minister of Finance/Budget/National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; and several women groups.

Welcoming the visitors, Speaker Gbajabiamila thanked them for devoting time to follow up on the bills and push for their passage.

The Speaker formally informed his colleagues on the reason for the visit, which he said was to observe the presentation of the reports and be part of the lobbying process.

“Our reports have three provisions that will affect women positively.

“However, there is still a lot of work and lobbying to be done.

“The reports will be considered next week, beginning from Wednesday”, Gbajabiamila stated.

The speaker commended the first lady for using the weight of her office to support many causes in the country, especially for the wellbeing of women and other groups.

Mrs Buhari, after observing the proceedings, was given permission by the House to take a bow, approach the Speaker’s Chair to greet him, before being led out of the chamber by the Chief Whip, Rep. Mohammed Tahir Monguno.

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