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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Constitution review: First draft expected by August 2024, deputy speaker announces

House of Representatives Sets Ambitious Timeline for Constitutional Amendments

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Benjamin Kalu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, unveiled ambitious timelines for the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution, announcing that the first draft report is anticipated to be ready by August 2024.

Speaking at a press conference convened by the House Committee on Constitution Review, Kalu outlined the roadmap for the comprehensive review, emphasizing the importance of thoroughness and public engagement in the process.

The Committee, inaugurated earlier in the week in Abuja, set a 24-month timeline for the conclusion of the constitutional review exercise, with Kalu spearheading the effort as the committee chair.

Detailing the schedule, Kalu outlined the key milestones, stating, “Our target is to ensure that the first draft of the constitution is ready by August 2024, pending approval by the sub-committees. Subsequently, the second draft is expected by October 2024, followed by zonal inputs and citizen engagement.”

He further elaborated on the harmonization process, highlighting a technical working retreat slated for February 2025, where documents from both the Senate and the House of Representatives would be reconciled.

Kalu underscored the importance of timeliness, noting, “We are optimistic that by August 2025, the President will receive the bills for presidential assent, marking a significant milestone in our constitutional reform efforts.”

While acknowledging the complexity of the task ahead, Kalu expressed confidence in achieving the committee’s objectives within the stipulated timeframe, aiming for a fully amended constitution by December 2025.

The constitutional review process holds profound implications for Nigeria’s governance and democratic landscape, reflecting the nation’s commitment to responsive and inclusive governance structures.

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