Senate Bill on qualifications for President, Govs, lawmakers nears passage

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan e1562765352678

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The bill before the Senate which prescribes a degree as a minimum qualification for persons aspiring to be the President of Nigeria is close to passage into law. The bill, sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North), has passed second reading at the Red Chamber.

It is titled: “A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), 131 (d), Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) therein, to provide for minimum qualification for election into the National and States Assembly, Office of the President and Governors, and other related matters, 2020”.

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It seeks to alter Section 131 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The section currently provides that presidential aspirants must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

The new bill demands that such persons “should be educated up to at least HND level or’ its equivalent.”

It also seeks to alter Section 65 (2) (a) of the Constitution on qualifications for Nigerians seeking election into the National Assembly.

The existing law reads: “A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

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The new bill seeking the amendment wants it rephrased to: “If he has been educated to at least National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

The bill also seeks alteration of Section 177 (d) of the Constitution for State Governors.

It currently provides that any person seeking the position must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

But the new bill wants it rephrased to: “If he has been educated up to at least Higher National Diploma Level or its equivalent.”

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The bill also touched on the requirements for House of Assembly aspirants in section 106 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

While the current law provides that such persons must have “been educated up to at least the School Certificate level or its equivalent”, the new bill wants it rephrased to: “If he has been educated up to National Diploma level or its equivalent.”


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