OrderPaperToday– Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc committee on review of the 1999 constitution and deputy Senate president, Ovie Omo-Agege, has disclosed that local government fiscal autonomy, full judicial autonomy, pre-election tribunals, devolution of power, 2014 confab report and others will be among priority legislation to be considered by the committee.
He made this disclosure at the National Assembly during the inauguration of the committee by the Senate president, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday.
Omo-Agege said while giving his remarks, listed top matters as: “Alteration of the Sixth schedule to make provision for new items, the establishment of National and State Houses of Assembly pre-election matters tribunal, governorship pre-election matters tribunals and presidential pre-election matters tribunal, including time limits for the disposal of all pre-election matters before the conduct of the general elections.
“We will also consider the need for devolution of power, full local government fiscal autonomy, full autonomy of the judiciary in the area of administration of justice, youth inclusiveness in governance, gender parity or affirmative action. This is by no means an exhaustive list. The committee will also consider inputs from stakeholders and different interest groups across the country.
“In addition, this committee will consider the recommendations of the 2014 constitutional conference and the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Committee on restructuring.
The deputy Senate president also informed that the panel would take the diversity of Nigeria into cognisance by finding a consensus through compromise to meet the ever-changing needs of the Nigerian people.
“We must understand that the fact that behind our diversity are people united by common challenges of insecurity, unemployment and a good hope for a better future, provides us with the opportunity to focus on those issues that unite us. It is only by so doing that we can guarantee success and leave for our children a better, fairer and more just Nigeria than the one we met,” he stated.
The chairman also assured that the committee will liaise with its counterparts in the House of Representatives and state houses of assembly to collaborate and build consensus with all stakeholders to ensure synergy.
He added, “Development partners will also play pivotal roles through counsel, workshops, conferences and interactions. The partnership roles of the executive and judiciary and their invaluable contributions cannot be overlooked as it will enhance efficient and successful outcomes.
“Finally, it will suffice to say that an assignment of this magnitude demands diligence and commitment. So, as we embark on this very important legislative assignment, let us use this opportunity to build consensus on constitutional issues that will impact the lives of the people of our great country Nigeria. We must get it right for the good of our people and the unity of our great country. The Nigerian people deserve no less”, he added.
Recall that on February 6, Senate President Lawan constituted a 56-man committee that had all principal officers, one senator from each state of the federation and two senators to represent each geo-political zone in the country as members.