Senate Begins Process For The Constitutional Amendment
Begins Process For The Constitutional Amendment
IN response to The yearnings of Nigerians, The Senate yesterday began The Process of another phase of Constitutional Review.
It is not certain however if both Houses are going to be working together this time judging from The tone of The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, while addressing journalists yesterday.
Though Ekweremadu admitted that working together with The House of Representatives would save The nation a lot of resources and also, produce better result at The completion of The amendment, The Committee assured of carrying The House of along if they are not available For joint amendment.
“On The issue of working with The House of Representatives, it will be our pleasure to work with them and that has been The tradition. That will save Nigeria huge resources; it will also save us time. I have always believed that two heads are better than one.
So, we intend to approach The House and ask For all of us to work together. If that happens, that will be nice and we will work together with them but if that doesn’t work, we will also continue to engage them. We will brief them what we are doing and also ask them what they are doing as well so that we will all be working towards one direction”, he stated.
On The amendment, The Deputy Senate President assured Nigerians that The outcome would be positive and that, which Nigerians would be happy with, as The committee would build on its history and experience.
The Joint Committee of The National Assembly has made several attempts towards The Constitutional Amendment but that of 2010 appeared The most successful. The Deputy Senate President maintained that in spite of skepticism from various quarters, The committee put in its best.
“Now, we have advantage of history and experience we believe that this exercise, though some of The issues that may come up may be very contentious, we are going to deploy The experience, we are going to deploy The goodwill, which we have garnered from The media, civil society and The ordinary people of Nigeria.
I want to ask you to trust us to amend The Constitution, not The way we want but The way Nigerians want, not issues we want but The issues Nigerians want.”
Meanwhile, The committee would be meeting again next week to identify areas that need amendment. According to him, that would serve to identify areas that require amendment. “We intend to meet again next week to possibly identify The areas that needs Amendment and we are going to do that based on The work we did in The last Senate. That will guide The present Senate. We will articulate what we consider to be The burning issues to make our democracy work and of course, put our country on The part of political progress. We are going to make allowance For input from executives, you are aware of The Belgore Committee, we will take their input.”
Inputs are also expected from Governors’ Forum, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as well as The general public.
Ekweremadu added that The Committee will engage The 2013 budget, which is expected to be presented in September.
Answering question on The proposed budget For The amendment, he said: “In 2012 budget, what happened with National Assembly budget was that we just have a one line item because of The Constitutional Amendment that has given The National Assembly a first line charge. So, what we have is a one line item (money) For National Assembly. Until The finance department breaks it down, I am not sure how much we are getting.”
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