By Linda Ike
The House of Representatives Committee on Constitution Review has slated December 2025 deadline to complete the review and amendment of constitution of Nigeria, 1999.
Deputy Speaker of the house, Benjamin Kalu made this known on Wednesday at the pre inaugural meeting of the Committee on Constitution Review.
Kalu noted that this could be the sixth time that National Assembly embarked on amendment of constitution.
He said he House is currently in possession of 40 bills relating to the amendment processes,.
“It is the view of Mr Speaker that we set a realistic timeline that does not conflict with electoral activities which would advertently or inadvertently affect the alteration process, specifically, December, 2025, the time we are looking at to conclude the activities of this committee.
“It is not out of place to guess that there is some level of fatigue in the amendment process by some vocal sections of the populace. Whatever opinion you hold, it is important to let you know that we presently have 40 bills that are at various stages of consideration which relate to the alteration of the constitution.
“We are well aware of our present challenging circumstances as a nation. The twin challenge of insecurity and economic difficulties could tamper with the confidence of our citizens. It is therefore our constitutional responsibility to respond to the 40 bills so far proposed and also attend to the duty of government to ensure the security and welfare of the citizen as provided by the constitution,” he said.
Kalu noted that since 2010, the National Assembly has successfully amended and made landmark changes to the constitution since it was first handed over to Nigeria in 1999 by the military regime of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.
He said, “Since 2010, the National Assembly has successfully amended and made landmark changes to our constitution since it was first handed over to Nigeria in 1999 by the military regime of General Abdulsalam Abubakar.
“Since then, some of the significant amendments successfully made by previous efforts include judicial reforms, electoral reforms, age reduction, allowing younger persons to be appointed into the Independent National Electoral Commission as Chairman or Resident Electoral Commissioners and also allowing a lower age for contest into certain elective positions, moving certain responsibilities of government from the exclusive legislative cist into the Concurrent legislative list to allow for increased federalism among other things.”
He also called on members of the committee to take the assignment seriously, reminding them of the reasons the attempt by previous assmblies did not yield the required results.
“In the last constitution review efforts, there were some key constitution amendment proposals that did not pass either because we did not fully understand their provisions or we did not have enough time to agree on them. An example was the proposal to create additional seats for women in Federal and State Legislative Houses. Let us use this opportunity to understand this proposal, hoping that those who are the promoters of this particular amendment will start their advocacy timely and be more thorough and comprehensive, reaching the stakeholders to control the mindsets of their representatives.
Kalu pledged the provision of adequate resources to enable the committee deliver on its mandate.
The 37-man committee is made up of representatives of the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.