Senate begins fresh move to review constitution
• House constitutes 46-man panel, asks Buhari
to set up Procurement Council<em
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, yesterday, inaugurated a 46-man Constitution Review Committee, headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu with a directive that the panel should conclude its work in 2018.
According to the list containing the names of the members of the committee, 27 are from the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), while 19 were drawn from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The committee, which is expected to commence work immediately, has been tasked by Saraki to conclude its exercise at least, one year before the conduct of 2019 general elections.
Also, the Senate passed a motion, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, set up the National Council on Public Procurement (NCPP) to give life and meaning to the Public Procurement Act so as to achieve the laudable objectives for which the Act came into being.
Sponsored by Senator Theodore Orji (PDP, Abia Central) tagged “Urgent need to establish National Council on Public Procurement of Nigeria” and co-sponsored by the Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, the Senate said the good intention of the legislature in passing the Procurement Act into law was to establish a regulatory authority for monitoring and oversight of public procurement.
Ekweremadu, who headed a similar committee in the last Senate, said lessons learnt from the last exercise would guide the committee in the discharge of its duty.
He lamented the refusal of the former President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to the Fourth Alteration Bill, passed by the 7th National Assembly, adding that the exercise was in accordance with the wishes of Nigerians, pledging speedy completion of the exercise.
Ekweremadu said: “While it is advisable for the National Assembly to adopt an incremental approach to constitution alteration, it is important that the process starts early in the life of the National Assembly. This would ensure that the exercise is concluded at least one year before the expiration of the tenure of the National Assembly.”
The Senate had announced on Tuesday that it would adopt the draft constitution passed by the 7th National Assembly as part of its fresh efforts at amending the constitution.
Saraki therefore, advised the 46-member constitutional review committee to consolidate on the set of last amendments already passed by the National Assembly and approved by two-thirds of the state houses of assembly and submit its report for passage in June this year.
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