The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, resolved to transmit a bill seeking to establish a State Security Council to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for assent.
According to the House, the Constitution (Fifth) Alteration Bill No.47 (Establishment of State Security Council), 2023 had met the constitutional requirement for the amendment of the relevant part of the 1999 Constitution.
Consequently, the parliament mandated the Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Tambuwal, to “transmit the bill to the President for his assent in line with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act.”
The National Assembly had in January transmitted 35 Constitution alteration bills passed by the state House of Assembly in concurrence with the National Assembly, out of the 44 bills sent to the states.
To amend a clause in the Constitution (two-thirds or four-fifths) majority of each of the Senate and the House has to approve the amendment after which it will be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly, where two-thirds or 24 of the 36 of them have to concur.
Out of the 36 states, 27 Houses of Assembly – Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun Rivers, and Yobe – had forwarded their resolutions on the bills.
The House had particularly urged Houses of Assembly in Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara “that are yet to forward their resolution on the bills to do so in fulfillment of their constitutionally imposed legislative obligation to the constitutional amendment process.”
On Wednesday, the House noted that Oyo and Zamfara state Houses of Assembly had accordingly forwarded their resolutions.
The House, however, called out seven state Houses of Assembly, all of which are in the North, to consider and pass Constitution amendments bills passed by the National Assembly and transmitted to them for concurrence.
The House particularly urged Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Plateau, Sokoto, and Taraba Assemblies “that are yet to forward their resolution on the bills to do so in fulfillment of their constitutionally imposed legislative obligations to the constitutional amendment process.”
Bill 46 on the list of bills passed by the National Assembly sought to include presiding officers of the National Assembly in the membership of the National Security Council.
Bill 47 seeks to establish a ‘State Security Council,’ while Bill 55 sought to include former Heads of the National Assembly in the Council of State.
Presently, Nigeria only has the National Security Council recognized by the 1999 Constitution.
Section 25, Part 1 (K) of the Third Schedule of the Constitution lists members of the NSC as including ‘(a) the President who shall be the Chairman; (b) the Vice-President who shall be the Deputy Chairman; (c) the Chief of Defence Staff; (d) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged with the responsibility for internal affairs.
‘(e) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged responsibility for Defence; (f) the Minister of the Government of the Federation charged with the responsibility for Foreign Affairs; (g) the National Security Adviser; (h) the Inspector-General of Police; and (i) such other persons as the President may in his discretion appoint.’
Defining the functions of the NSC, Section 26 states, ‘The council shall have the power to advise the President on matters relating to public security, including matters relating to any organization or agency established by law for ensuring the security of the federation.’
Meanwhile, the House has considered and adopted a report by the Committees on Basic Education and Services, and Healthcare Services on a bill seeking to capture breast and cervical cancer under Civic Education.
Chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, laid the report on January 19, 2023.
It was titled ‘Report of the Committees on Basic Education and Services and, Healthcare Services on a Bill for an Act to Introduce Preventive Measures and Teachings of Breast and Cervical Cancers into the Curriculum of a Compulsory Subject (Civic Education) for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria and Related Matters.
The House equally considered and adopted the report by the Committee on Basic Education and Services on a bill seeking to make education on sexual and gender-based violence compulsory in schools.
It was titled ‘Report of the Committee on Basic Education and Services on a Bill for an Act to Introduce Preventive Measures and Teachings of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence into the Curriculum as a Compulsory Subject (Civic Education) for all Secondary Schools in Nigeria; and for Related Matters.’