Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC) in a statement on Tuesday, April 13, called on the National Assembly to prioritise the passage of key bills including the Electoral Bill (which will repeal and re-enact the 2010 Electoral Act), the Petroleum Bill and Constitution Alteration Bills.
The quick and early considerations and passage of these bills will help address several pending and urgently needed actions to address agitations from aggrieved citizens.
The Constitution amendment process which gained traction in the National Assembly before the Easter holidays is expected to continue as the Ad hoc Committees of the two Houses of the National Assembly continue to work on the proposals before them and progress the work further.
PLAC urges the National Assembly not to relent in its efforts and to quickly consider the proposals and recommendations from the members of the public on amendments to the Constitution before it and hold a Public Hearing where citizens can make further input into the work of the Committee. In this regard, it is expected that issues relating to Local Government Autonomy and provisions guaranteeing increased political representation of women, among others, are going to be critical topics for consideration by the Committees.
Furthermore, the Electoral Bill is another critical reform bill that is before the National Assembly, which has reached a critical stage that requires concerted effort by the two Houses to complete in good time for the President to give assent and the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to incorporate provisions of the legislation into its preparations ahead of the 2023 General elections.
It is anticipated that the National Assembly would keep to its promise to pass Constitution Alteration and Electoral Bills in the Second quarter of the year, latest by June 2021 as promised by the leadership of the National Assembly. Expectations are high that as the National Assembly resumes plenary, they will work towards meeting this target in order to promote good governance in Nigeria.