Members of the House of Representatives will on Wednesday commence voting on amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
One of the amendments intends to lower the age qualification for presidential aspirants to 30 years.
The age bar on other leadership positions like Vice-President, state governors and members of the National Assembly, according to the proposal, will also be lowered.
Under the extant Section 65, the age requirement to contest an election to the Senate is 35 years. For the House of Representatives, it is 30 years.
In Section 106, the age requirement to contest a state House of Assembly seat is 30 years.
For the office of the President, the extant provision in Section 131 is 40 years.
For the office of the governor of a state, the qualification in the extant Section 177 is 35 years.
The proposed amendment also recommends that a Vice-President or deputy governor, whose principal dies in office, shall be entitled to only one tenure after completing the tenure of the deceased.
The recommendations, among others, are in the report of the House Ad Hoc Committee on Constitution Review, which was laid before the House on Thursday.
The committee, which is headed by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Yussuff Lasun, compiled all bills/proposals for amendments to the constitution in line with the legislative agenda of the 8th House.
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, told The PUNCH on Monday that the voting on the recommendations was a mandatory constitutional requirement to give legal teeth to a new constitution.
He said, “It is true that we are considering our report on constitution review this week. The first step, which was the committee stage, was completed and we now have the proposals before us. But, more importantly, we have to endorse them or even reject them for the process to continue.
“Besides the voting and adoption of the recommendations, there is the next phase involving the approval of state Houses of Assembly. Good a thing in this review exercise, there has been some synergy between the state assemblies and the National Assembly.
“This is a move to ensure a smooth sailing for the recommendations when they get to the state level.”
The age reduction proposal specifically seeks to amend Sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the Constitution. The sections deal with age qualification for the Senate, House of Representatives; state Houses of Assembly; President; and governors.
The Lasun committee also proposed financial autonomy for local government councils and state assemblies.
The committee also recommends that the state/local government “joint account should be abolished.”
There is also a proposal for independent candidates to contest in elections in a bid to allow persons not affiliated to political parties to have a right to seek elective offices.
There are additional proposals on devolution of power to the states by moving certain items from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.