Senate to conclude 1999 Constitution review in 2yrs – Jibrin

Deputy President of the Senate and chairman of the 1999 Constitution Review Committee, Barau Jibrin, has said that the Constitutional review would be concluded within two years.

The chairman stated this on Wednesday, during the inaugural meeting of the 45-member committee constituted last week by the Senate.

He informed that the steering committee of the Constitutional review committee would submit a work plan and a process map with timelines to be presented for consideration and approval by members in the next meeting.

Jibrin assured that the committee would work to achieve better results than previous Constitution review committees by bringing innovation to bear.

“It is important to note that the committee is not constituted to rewrite the 1999 Constitution but to process proposed amendments to it, and we will strive to conclude this assignment within the next 24 months. I enjoin us to be committed to the activities of the committee because the task ahead is huge as some of the issues canvassed by some critical stakeholders are quite delicate”, he said.

“The committee will strongly consult and engage critical stakeholders in a way that will ensure that bills passed by the National Assembly will be approved by the State Houses of Assembly and assented to by Mr. President”, he added.

Jibrin also noted that the committee would work in synergy with counterparts in the House of Representatives, and be strategic in the conduct of its affairs. “We will be guided by the laws and rules of legislative business, including precedence where it does not conflict with any known rule, while also being innovative where we can”, he said.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia-South, highlighted the importance of time management, noting that the previous committee failed in the management of time, which he said made several Bills not to be assented to. He also advised the committee not to put all amendments in one Bill, saying, “We used to put everything in one Bill; so that when the President doesn’t assent, it all goes to waste. So, we should always do it in parts”.

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