House of Representatives yesterday unanimously pegged the age limit of any Nigerian vying for the office of president, governor and National Assembly seats in subsequent general elections at 30 years.
This followed a robust debate on a bill seeking to reduce the age qualification for the office of president, governor and membership of the Senate and House of Representatives by altering Sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Leading debate on the bill, the sponsor, Hon. Tony Nwulu (PDP-Lagos), explained that the bill sought to reduce the age qualification for the office of president from 40 to 30 years and office of governor from 35 to 30 years.
Nwulu hinted that the bill also sought to reduce the age qualifications of those vying for Senate from 35 to 30 years and state Houses of Assembly from 30 to 25 years.
The lawmaker stressed that the legal framework would ensure political inclusiveness in line with international best practices, just like what obtains in the United Kingdom.
“This desire itself could be viewed as a sufficient warrant for young people to participate, demonstrate a willingness to engage and fulfil the burdens of office.
“It is pertinent now to amend the constitution to make room for independent candidates to widen the democratic processes in our elections and above all, to encourage our young ones to fully participate in all elective offices,” Nwulu said.
Speaking on independent candidacy, Nwulu stressed the need to open up space for lawmakers to come in as independent candidates.
In his ruling, the speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara referred the bill to the ad-hoc Committee on Constitutional Review chaired by the deputy speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, 100 bills scaled through first reading on the floor of the House.
The bills include the 54 submitted by the House-sanctioned Committee of the Review of existing laws of the federation last week.
Nigerian Pilot recalls that in December 2015, the House passed 130 bills through first reading and many of those bills have scaled through second reading while others are at different stages of legislative process.
Some of the bills that scaled first reading are Elder Person (Protection Bill), National Commission for Internally Displaced Persons, Refugees and Migrants; National Gas Resources Development Agency Bill and Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods (Miscellaneous Provision) Act (Amendment)Bill, 2016.
Others include the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute (Enforcement of Awards) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2016; Statutory Corporation Pensionable Officers (Retiring Age Limit); Treaties (Making Procedures) Act Amendment Bill and National Gas Resources Development Agency Bill.
Similarly, three bills scaled through third reading and now await concurrence with the Senate.
They are Bill for an Act to Make Provision for Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots and other related matters; Bill for an Act to Provide for Corporate Manslaughter to Make Corporate Organisations Criminally Liable for Death of Employees arising from their Acts of Omission and other related matters, and a Bill for an Act to Repeal the Railway Loan (International Bank) Act laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for other connected matters.

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