The Senate Committee on review of the 1999 constitution will consider recommendations of the 2014 constitutional conference.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Ovie Omo-Agege, made this known at the inauguration of a 56 -member committee.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the committee was inaugurated by President of Senate Ahmad Lawan.
Lawan had on Feb.6 constituted the committee at Plenary on Feb.6
Omo-Agege said: “This committee will consider the recommendations of the 2014 Constitutional Conference and the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led committee on restructuring.
“We would also liaise with our counterparts in the House of Representatives, the State Houses of Assembly and collaborate, build consensus with all stakeholders to ensure synergy.
He said because of the need to incorporate the interests and aspirations of the people from various ethnic-social and ethnoreligious backgrounds, the committee would embark on far-reaching consultations with Nigerians across the six geo-political zones.
This, according to him will aggregate their positions on current issues that required legislative action by way of constitutional reforms.
“Our task would be to find a consensus through compromise in order to meet the ever-changing needs of our people.”
He also said the committee would no doubt, consider the alteration of the sixth schedule to make provision for new items, on the establishment of National and State Houses of Assembly, Pre-election matters Tribunal.
“Others are Governorship Pre-election Matters Tribunals and Presidential Pre-election Matters Tribunal, including time limits for the disposal of all pre-election matters before the conduct of the general elections.
“We will also consider the need for devolution of power, full local government fiscal autonomy, full autonomy of the judiciary in the area of administration of justice.”
He said the committee would also look at issues of youth inclusiveness in governance, gender parity or affirmative action.
” The committee will also consider inputs from stakeholders and different interest groups across the country.”
He said development partners would also play pivotal roles through counsel, workshops, conferences, and interactions.
Omo-Agege said the partnership roles of the executive and judiciary and their invaluable contributions would enhance efficient and successful outcomes.
He said an assignment of this magnitude demands diligence and commitment.
“So, as we embark on this very important legislative assignment, let us use this opportunity to build consensus on constitutional issues that will impact the lives of the people of our great country Nigeria.
“We must get it right for the good of our people and the unity of our great country, the Nigerian people deserve no less.”
In his remark, Lawan: “today is another important day in the constitutional amendment efforts of the country.
“When we constituted a 56-man Steering and Constitution Review Committee last Thursday, we had indeed stepped on another level once again.
“This level was to ensure we continued with the 9th national assembly’s fast pace of work.”
He said the senate had now resolved to re-examine the constitution, consistent with its legislative agenda and in tandem with the yearnings of the people.
” You will agree with me that reviewing the constitution is an arduous task, It requires painstaking consultation, dialogues, and debates, we expect consultations with public organisations and the civil society.
” These include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the vehicle for elections, Civil Society Groups, the academia, the Media, and indeed, the citizenry.”
He said the assignment needs a great deal of time, resources and expert ideas.
Lawan said the committee have the responsibility to ensure that inputs and outputs are not just exhaustive, but should also be wide-ranging and effective.
“When this process is foolproof, we can then be rest assured that it will take a longer time before new realities possibly trigger demands for amendments.
“The senate is mindful of the central role of the constitution, as the Grund norm of our democracy.
“This will not only ensure national harmony but also guarantee the greater peace and progress of our country.”
He urged all citizens, groups, and organisations to be involved, to make Nigeria the pride of Africa and a beacon for humanity.