The Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria has commended the National Assembly for the successful completion of the first leg of the amendment process on the 1999 Constitution, particularly the depth of work done to deepen democracy and improve on the quality of governance at all levels in the country.
In a statement by the chairman, Alhaji Ismaila A. Kamba, the Speakers urged the National Assembly to quickly forward the items approved by both chambers to the states for expeditious deliberation and action by the 36 state Houses of Assembly.
Kamba, who is Speaker, Kebbi State House of Assembly, stated that since the National Assembly has at different stages of the debates and discussions on the amendment process involved the Conference of Speakers, it should not be difficult for the 36 state legislative houses to vote on the issues and revert back to the National Assembly.
He praised the ingenuity and innovations introduced in the process by the National Assembly during the voting on the issues put forward by the joint Committee on Constitution Amendment.
“The Conference of Speakers is happy as the National Assembly separated the issues into different bills such that it is easy to vote on different issues in a clear manner. We will enjoin all our colleagues to borrow a leaf from that in the voting on the amendment to the constitution. Same procedure can be used by Speakers during voting on other thorny and sensitive issues that may come to our respective chambers in the future.
“We are also happy that issues that can help improve governance at all levels, that can strengthen the judiciary, aid the anti-corruption war of the government, entrench separation of powers, develop the legislature at the state levels and improve on the performance of the local government authorities and many important issues have been taken care of in the constitution amendment.
“With this constitution amendment, the National Assembly has prepared the ground for the emergence of a new Nigeria with a more solid democracy. The Speakers are eager to lead other state legislatures to create a better country. The NASS should quickly send the amendment documents to us so that we can play our part”, Kamba stated.