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Omo-Agege: State Creation, Restructuring, Revenue Allocation, 13 Others Top 1999 Constitution Amendment

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The Chairman of the Constitution Amendment Committee of the Senate and the Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo Agege has revealed the key areas the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution will focus on in line with the current agitations across Nigeria.

During an interactive session with journalists in Abuja, the Deputy President of the Senate listed 16 key areas where the National Assembly will be focusing attention in the current 5th amendment of the 22 year old 1999 constitution.

The areas include:

-Gender Equity/Increased participation of Women and Vulnerable groups in governance

The Federal Structure in governance and Power Devolution

– Local Government Administration/Local Government autonomy

– Public Revenue, Fiscal Federalism and Revenue Allocation

– Constitutional Provision for the Establishment of State Police

– Judicial Reform – Adjudication of election and pre-election matters and other justice delivery concerns.

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– Electoral Reforms that will make INEC deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections, Political parties, Independent candidature and election management

– Socio-economic rights as contained in Chapter II of the Constitution.

– Residency and indigeneship

– Immunity – Removal of immunity in prima facie criminal cases

– Time-line for Assent of Bills and Passage of Appropriation Bill

States and local government creation
– Strengthening the independence of institutions like the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Auditor General of the Federation and Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

– F.C.T. Administration

– The Legislature and Legislative Bureaucracy

– Constitutional Role for Traditional Rulers

Sen. Omo Agege, however, stated that his committee has not foreclosed the expansion of possible areas of alteration of the 1999 constitution.

According to the lawmaker, that was why his committee is liaising with all senators to hold zonal town hall meetings to further give Nigerians the opportunity to make input to ensure that whatever will come out of the exercise will be such that all Nigerians will be proud of.

He said: “To further create opportunity for citizens to make inputs into the amendment process on any of the issues listed above or wish to present, introduce or promote new issues that will promote good governance and unity of the country, the Committee is embarking on public hearings at the 6 geo-political zones and at the national level. To bring the process closer to the people the hearing will take place in 2 centers in each of the 6-geo-politacal zones.”

He listed the zonal town hall meeting which will hold between Wednesday and Thursday this week as follows:

North Central: Jos centre is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu and comprised of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa while, Minna centre is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Sabi Aliyu and comprised of Kogi, Kwara, Niger state and FCT

North East: Gombe centre is chaired by Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje and comprised of Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa, while Bauchi centre is chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari and comprised of Bauchi, Borno and Yobe state

North West: Kaduna Centre is chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya and comprised of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa state while, Sokoto centre is chaired by Senator Muhammed Aliero and comprised of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara state

South East: Enugu Centre is chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu and comprised of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu state while, Owerri centre is chaired by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and comprised of Abia and Imo state

South South: Asaba centre is chaired by Senatorial James Manager and comprised of Bayelsa, Delta and Edo state while, Port-Harcourt centre is chaired by Senator Betty Apiafi and comprised of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers state.

South West: Akure centre is chaired by Senator Ajayi Boroffice and comprised of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun state while, Lagos centre is chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and comprised of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo State.

Omo Agege who assured Nigerians that the National Assembly will pass the amendment before it goes on recess reiterated that the 9th National Assembly was committed to deploying legislative intervention in ensuring that Nigeria survives its current challenges.

“We are working with the timetable. Time is no longer on our side. Nigerians who are clamouring for this expect that we will come up with a finished product in no time. The calendar we have set for ourselves is that we are going to have a vote on each of the bills before we proceed on the long recess in July.

“I can tell you that we have enough resources. We are not in any way hampered by finances,” he assured.

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