Reps propose 21 day deadline for submission of ministerial nominees’ list

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed through second reading a bill which seeks to provide a 21-day timeline for the President and State Governors to submit the list of ministerial nominees to the Parliament for confirmation.

The timeline was contained in the bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the timetable for submitting the names of ministerial or commissioners nominees with portfolios attached and evidence of declaration of assets and liabilities of the nominees sponsored by Hon. Ben Igbakpa.

In his lead debate, Hon. Igbakpa explained that the bill seeks to strengthen the Nigerian democracy as Sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution empowers the President and Governors to appoint ministers and commissioners as the case may be.

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According to him, the bill proposes 21 days as the maximum time for submitting the names of the candidates with portfolios so that legislators can ask informed questions during screening as is obtained worldwide, adding that the absence of the strictness to a short timeframe makes the government look devoid of direction and keeps Nigerians in suspense.

He also stressed on the need for candidates to declare their assets before assuming office as ministers or commissioners for transparency in governance.

The Bill was voted on, passed through second reading and referred to the Special Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of the Nigerian Constitution chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase.

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