Minimum qualification bill for the President passes second reading at the National Assembly

Nigeria’s Senate President Ahmed Lawan presiding over a plenary

A bill seeking to increase the minimum educational qualification for Nigeria’s President and other elective offices has passed second reading at the National Assembly.

Representative Adewunmi Onanuga (APC, Ogun) had sponsored the bill, which hopes to amend the 1999 Constitution and raise the qualification from school certificate to degree or its equivalent.

The bill seeks to amend Sections 65, 106, 131 and 171 of the 1999 Constitution.

Leading the debate on the bill, Onanuga said school certificate is not sufficient as qualification for ruling the country.

According to her, it is curious that to qualify for employment in the senior cadre of Nigeria’s civil service, an applicant must be a holder of the National Youth Service Corps certificate.

She noted that the applicant must already be a graduate, as only graduates go for NYSC deployment.

She said it is strange that a person seeking to lead the entire country, including the graduate, is required to possess only a senior secondary school certificate or its equivalent.

THIS came as Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, held a meeting with heads of regulatory agencies in the education sector over an alleged hike in school fees in some tertiary institutions.

In attendance at the meeting held in Abuja were Executive Secretaries of National Universities Commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, and that of National Commission for Colleges of Education, Prof. Paulinus Chijoke Okwelle.

Also in attendance was Hajia Bilkisu Salihijo Ahmad, who represented the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).

Lawan, in his opening remarks, said he convened the meeting to have first-hand information on an issue that could cause crisis in the education sector if not quickly addressed.

MEANWHILE, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has nominated the senator representing Taraba North, Shuaibu Isa Lau, as replacement for Senate Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), who defected to All Progressives Congress (APC).

The replacement was conveyed in a letter sent by PDP Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, to the Senate, yesterday, and read at plenary by Lawan.

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