A Bill for an Act to delete section 315 of the 1999 Constitution that gives the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Governors the powers to “modify” laws relating to the administration of ministries and agencies of government, is before the House of Representatives.
The Bill entitled: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Amendment Bill), 2021, is sponsored by Rep. Kwewum R. Shawulu.
The bill as obtained by VANGUARD proposes that “paragraph (c) of subsection (5) of Section 315 of the Principal Act, is amended by completely deleting or expunging it from the provision”.
Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, “confers on the President the power to modify federal laws while a State Governor similarly has the power to modify state laws”
But the lawmaker who represents Takum/Donga/Ussa Federal Constituency of Taraba State on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, wants the president and a Governors completely stripped of the exercise of that discretion.
The former BBC correspondent, in his comments on the piece of legislation, said the “Act requires amendments, additions, and deletions. However, the amendment can only be done in the manner the Constitution is amended, namely, a two-thirds majority of each chamber of the National Assembly or/and two-thirds of the 36 State Houses of Assembly”.
He explained further that “This short cut, is likely to run contrary to section 3, 4, and 5 of the Act, which can only be amended, for instance, section 6 gives the President’s powers relating to the structure and the manner in which each agency is to be administered; the manner in which powers of each agency is to be exercised on specified officers of the agencies, of the powers of a superior officer.
“The safest and most proper course of action is to remove the Act from the Constitution. Similar laws in most countries, have gone through several reviews in the last ten years, to meet with emergency security threats”.