Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege has said that a total of 55 amendments were being considered in the review of 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria by the National Assembly.
Delivering his remarks at a joint retreat of Ad-hoc Committee for both the Senate and the House of Representatives in Abuja on Friday, Omo-Agege who chairs the constitution review committee of the Senate said that the amendment bills have been analyzed.
He however noted that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the timeline stipulated to conclude the exercise even as he commended commonwealth development office and the European Union for their support.
The Deputy Senate President appealed to members to be diligent in their duty, adding that the bill will be transmitted to the state houses of assembly for their input soon.
He said: “Recall the disruption of the activities of the committees by the Covid-19 pandemic which affected our timelines and made it difficult to deliver on our mandate and promise to Nigerians.
“I’m therefore delighted to see that we have progressed to this point where we can now jointly decide on the report to be presented to our colleagues for voting in plenary at the end of this month.
“Let me clearly state that the task will not be simple one, our consultants have analyzed submissions from public hearings and memos, harmonized and recommended over 55 bills across the various thematic areas of the exercise.
“We have independently reviewed the consultants reports and recommendations, by way of making additional provisions, rejecting and even introducing entirely new Bill on account of various advocacy and agitations on some issues of overriding National concerns.
“We have two working days and I encourage everyone to give the work all the attention it deserves especially as we have limited time to present this report and transmit to state houses of assembly. I’m sure we will be able complete this series of work within the timeline.”
On his part, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase who also chairs the review committee for the Green Chamber said the work will be ready before the end of this month.
“We will allow the Bill to go to states before the end of this February. I am seeking for cooperation from everybody so that we can deliver”, he said.
In his remarks at the joint retreat, the Executive Director Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, PLAC Mr Clement Nwankwo appealed to National to consider the adoption of the clause on the creation of 111 special seats for women in the parliaments to encourage women participation in politics in the country.
It will be recalled that the bill was sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip of the House, Hon.Nkiruka Onyjeocha who represents Isikwuato/Umunneochi federal constituency of Abia State in the current 9th House of Representatives.