The House of Representatives has expressed great confidence in the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu, to deliver on mandate, as the chairman, House Committee on Constitution Review.
Recently, the House constituted a committee to look into various proposals and agitations for the alterations and amendment of the 1999 constitution, headed by Kalu, with experienced lawmakers as members.
The committee, which is about the sixth that would be constituted since 1999 to review the existing law book, is expected to be inaugurated February 26, 2024.
Speaking to newsmen in Kano, the deputy spokesperson of the House, Hon. Philip Agbese, said the Lawmakers have great confidence in the Deputy Speaker, Kalu, saying his committee would get it right this time.
He said, “overtime, the National Assembly had made attempts to review the 1999 constitution, with the aim of amending some clauses and give it the 21st century life it deserves. Some of the times, the Parliament succeeded; and some other times, the Committee failed.
“Even in the dispensations that the committee succeeded, some amendments suffered rejections at the various Houses of Assembly in states, while some of the few clauses that managed to scale through are fast calling for a repeal or total overhauling.
But with the Deputy Speaker, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu on the driver seat of the Constitution Review Committee of the 10th House of Representatives, Nigerians should go to bed and rest, with the assurance of waking up the next day to the realization of their yearnings and aspirations.
“The Hon. Benjamin Kalu-led Committee would collate opinions and liaise with various stakeholders, Civil Society Organizations, government agencies, multilateral and supranational agencies, as well as traditional rulers, women groups and private business minds who jointly drive the nation’s economy, to ensure a wholesome amendment to the Nigeria’s law book”.
Hon. Agbese, also charged various groups and agencies, seeking one amendment or the other and alterations in some parts of the 1999 constitution, to work closely with their representatives, as the Committee would hit the ground running, as soon as it is officially inaugurated this month.
“Already, there are about 40 bills at various stages in the National Assembly, seeking for the amendment of the 1999 constitution. Some seek to address issues of gender inequality, traditional institution, local government autonomy, fiscal federation and others.
“With the determination of Kalu-led Committee and the assurance that the Committee would round up by December, 2025; I urge stakeholders and proponents of those Bills to work closely with their representatives and the Committee, to enable it deliver on mandate and time”, he stressed.
He described Kalu as a Pan-Nigerian Parliamentarian who treats everyone that comes to him with utmost dignity, saying, he is a man reputable for Integrity and all-inclusiveness and would definitely attend to the agitations of those seeking amendments to the nation’s law book.
It would be recalled that, the Deputy Speaker and Chairman, House Committee on Constitution Review, Kalu, had met with other Members of the Committee at the House of Representatives on Wednesday, where he promised to complete the Committee assignment by December, 2025.
Kalu also urged “the Committee to prepare to work very hard and timeously to deliver on citizens’ expectations of concrete amendments in the shortest possible time.”