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First draft on constitution amendment ready in August – Benjamin Kalu



The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said on Thursday the report of the first draft in the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution would be ready in August.

He stated this at a media briefing by the House Committee on Constitution Review in Abuja.

The committee which is headed by Kalu was inaugurated on Monday.

The panel has 24 months to complete its assignment.

The deputy speaker said the National Assembly planned to put in place a fully amended constitution for the country by December next year.

He said: “We are pushing to ensure that in our activities, that in no distant time, the first draft of the work we are trying to do in the constitution will be ready.

“This will be subject to approval of the work done by the subcommittee. Let me mention that by our target, the first draft of the constitution will be out in August 2024.

“The second draft will be out in October 2024. We will commence zonal inputs from October 2024. We’ll keep collecting inputs from citizens from October 14, 2024, as we prepare for the last version or the last draft copy of the constitution.

READ ALSO: Reps inaugurate panel to review 1999 constitution, set 24-month deadline

“We are hoping that there will be a harmonization of the issues, on February 27 or February 28, 2025.

“We are hoping that during a technical working retreat that will take place in February 2025, the Senate and the House of Representatives documents will be harmonized.

“We desire that on March 17, 2025, we will have harmonized documents considered in the House. We believe that by April 2025, we will have the final copies of draft amendments produced.

“We are optimistic also that by May 12, 2025, we will have the final clean copy of amendments’ bills agreed on.

“And we are looking at May 22, 2025, as a time when we will have the final report laid for consideration and voting.

“This is to say that members will be voting on the work we have done on this important date of May 22, 2025.

“We believe that around May 29, 2025, or June 13, 2025, knowing fully well what these important dates mean to Nigerians, we will expect the final concurrence of state assemblies secured.

“If it delays more than that, it will not go beyond August of 2025 because we believe that by August 2025, the president will receive the bills that will be presented to him for presidential assent. So, our target is that the transmission of bills to Mr. President for assent will take place in August 2025.

“And with this, we are sure that our target to get this job done in 24 months will be achieved if we send it to Mr. President by August 2025 and hope that by December we will have a constitution that’s fully amended.”

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