The Senate on Wednesday began moves to conclude the amendment of the 4th Alteration Bill which was concluded by the 7th Assembly but was not assented to by President Good Luck Jonathan.
The President of the Senate Bukola Saraki while inaugurating a 46-member committee in Abuja on Wednesday, charged the committee to conclude its work before the end of June.
Saraki said that the 7th National Assembly had done a good job of obtaining national consensus on key challenges to the operation of the constitution and the utilisation of its framework.
“This is why I urge the committee to, in the first instance, concentrate on the 4th Alteration Bill and conclusively address it before dealing with other proposals.
“This current review is an attempt by the 8th National Assembly to cement and exhaustively conclude the process of the 4th Alteration Bill.
“The Alteration Bill is essentially hinged on strengthening our constitutional democracy, entrenching our unity and widening the remit of institutions that enable the implementation of development plan.
“It will also enable the respect for the Constitution and the observance of the rule of law as our primary objective.
“Having acknowledged the immense work of the 7thNational Assembly under the Fourth Alteration Bill, the Senate expects you to swiftly consolidate its passage.
“It has already garnered national consensus. We expect that within the next few days you will forward the consolidated bill, have it gazetted and forwarded for first reading,” he said.
He said that the 1999 Constitution was indeed, a bold and innovative attempt to come to grips with some of Nigeria’s most fundamental and pressing problems of the time.
He stressed, however, that the Constitution had brought the nation thus far but required some realignment with our political, economical, fiscal and social realities.
He prayed for a good liaison with the House of Representatives as well as other stakeholders especially the executive arm too forestall a recurrence of what happened in 2015.
“Let me reemphasis the need for prudence and efficiency. This is not time for jamboree tours or unnecessary flamboyance.
“While acknowledging the need for a very comprehensive and exhaustive review of the proposal, it won’t be an excuse for excessive elaboration and endless retreats.
“Nigerians expect that this is not going to end without result. More than what has been done in the past, we must make a difference.
It is our hope that this assignment can be completed by end of June 2016,” he stated.
The Committee headed by the Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekwerenmadu has its members drawn from all 36 states of the federation.
In his remarks, the chairman of the committee pledged to commence and conclude its review within the time stipulated. (NAN