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‘Cost consideration shouldn’t defeat clamour for more women in elective offices’

By Msugh Ityokura, Abuja
30 November 2021   |   3:41 am
The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), yesterday, warned that the clamour for more women participation in partisan politics should sacrificed on the altar of cost.

The Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), yesterday, warned that the clamour for more women participation in partisan politics should sacrificed on the altar of cost.

Its Executive Director, Clement Nwankwo, who was speaking at the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) strategy session on constitution review process and efforts organised by PLAC with the support of European Union (EU) in Abuja, said the bill for an Act to alter provisions of the 1999 Constitution to create additional seats for women in the federal and state legislatures was a feat for Nigeria’s democracy.

The bill is being sponsored by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha

According to Nwankwo, the cost benefits of special seats for women as contained in the bill if implemented would only cost government N50 billion besides the N150 billion yearly budget of the National Assembly.

This, he stated, was “not too much compared to the questionable billions spent on fuel subsidy yearly.”

The PLAC boss observed at the event, themed ‘Promoting citizen-centred amendments,’ that Nigeria has the worst record of women representation in parliament, hence the bill is seeking to provide special seats for them.

Among the many benefits of more women inclusion, according to the executive director, is the established correlation between more women in legislatures, improved economy, conflict resolution and reduced military spending.

“The greatest cost Nigeria is paying today emanates from conflicts, insurgency and other dimensions of insecurity. The value-addition of women is, therefore, their potential contribution to income generation and amelioration of crises in a society that has been enveloped by insecurity,” Nwankwo added.

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