BREAKING: Senate passes bill on HND as minimum qualification for president, govs

The Senate, on Thursday, passed for second reading, a constitution amendment bill which prescribes Higher National Diploma (HND) or its equivalent as the educational qualification required for anyone seeking to contest the office of the Nigerian President or state governors.

The bill, which was sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party from Plateau State, Senator Isfifanus Gyang, prescribed the National Diploma or its equivalent as the minimum qualification for federal and state lawmakers.

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The bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), and 131 (d).

It will also amend Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) on minimum education qualification for those seeking election into the State Assembly, Governor, National Assembly and office of the President.

The bill seeks the alteration of section 65 (2) (a) of the Constitution which deals with the qualifications for intending members of the National Assembly.

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

However, the Bill said that Section 65 (2) (a) should now be rephrased to read “if he has been educated to at least a National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

For State Houses of Assembly, the Bill seeks the alteration of section 106 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

According to the existing Section 106 (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), anyone aspiring to be a member of the State of Assembly must have “been educated up to at least the School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

However, the Bill proposed that Section 106 (c) be rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

The same provision applies to State Governors. The Bill seeks the alteration of Section 177 (d) of the Constitution.

Presently, Section 177 (d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that any person seeking the Office of Governor must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

However, the Bill seeks that Section 177 (d) be rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to at least Higher National Diploma Level or its equivalent.”

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