Deputy Speaker of the House and Chairman of the House Committee on Constitution Review, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu has revealed that the House of Representatives has received approximately 40 bills aimed at amending the 1999 Constitution.

Addressing the inaugural meeting of the Constitution Review Committee, Kalu explained that the Speaker and House Leadership established the Committee to oversee reforms and amendments to the Constitution during the 10th National Assembly.

He noted that this marks the sixth occasion the National Assembly has undertaken amendments to the Nigerian Constitution.

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Kalu highlighted the Speaker’s directive for the committee to establish a feasible timeline that aligns with electoral activities to prevent any disruptions to the alteration process.

The committee has set a deadline of December 2025 to conclude its activities, as per the Speaker’s guidance.

He said: “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 challenges 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.


“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 (INEC) 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 List into the Concurrent Legislative List to allow for increased federalism among other things.

“The Constitution Review Committee is having its Pre-Inaugural meeting today preparatory to its inauguration which date has been proposed for February 26, 2024. Ahead of the inauguration, actions that need to be undertaken include expediting the commencement of preparations, constituting the secretariat for Constitution Review, appointing Consultants, and drafting a Work Plan for the Committee.”

He said further that the Committee is fully aware of the concerns of Nigerians on the need to finalize and conclude discussions around Nigeria’s Constitution, adding that the nature of Nigeria’s Constitution and the history around how it was made and handed over to a new civilian government in 1999, makes it imperative for to continually revisit the several provisions of the Constitution and work towards accomplishing consensus on outstanding constitutional debates.

He stressed that during the last Constitution Review efforts, some key Constitution amendment proposals 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, he said was the proposal to create additional seats for women in Federal and State Legislative Houses, saying: “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, reaching the stakeholders to control the mindsets of their representatives.

“I would like to urge the Committee to prepare to work very hard and timeously to deliver on citizens’ expectations of concrete amendments in the shortest possible time.”

He said the composition of the Committee is representative of the constituent parts of this country and encouraged members to prepare to bring forth bills that represent the interests and concerns of their Constituencies, as well as the national interest.



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