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Bill prescribing HND as minimum qualification for president, governors scales second reading in Senate

The Senate on Thursday passed for second reading, a constitution amendment bill which prescribes Higher National Diploma or its equivalent as the minimum educational qualification requirement for anyone seeking the position of President or state governors in Nigeria.

The bill sponsored also prescribes National Diploma or its equivalent as the minimum qualification for federal and state lawmakers.

The bill which is sponsored by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Plateau State, Senator Isfifanus Gyang, seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), and 131 (d).

It will also amend Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) on minimum education qualification for those seeking election into the State Assembly, Governor, National Assembly and office of the President.

The bill seeks the alteration of section 65 (2) (a) of the Constitution which deals with the qualifications for intending members of the National Assembly

The current law, which the bill seeks to amend reads, “A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”

Section 65 (2) (a) has now been rephrased to read “if he has been educated to at least a National Diploma level or its equivalent.”

The bill also seeks the alteration of Section 131 (d) which deals with minimum requirements for anyone running for the office of the governor.

The current Section of the Constitution states that the person must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent”.

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Section 131 (d) is now rephrased to read: “He has been educated up to at least HND level or’ its equivalent.”

For House of Assembly, the bill seeks the alteration of section 106 (c) of the Constitution.

According to the existing law, anyone aspiring to be a member of the House of Assembly must have “been educated up to at least the School Certificate level or its equivalent”.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, referred the bill to the Committee on Constitution Review after the senators passed the proposed amendment for second reading.

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