by GEORGE OJI
Less than 48 hours to the end of his administration, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday forwarded the recommendations and resolutions of the 2014 National Conference to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
The resolutions of the National Conference was transmitted to the lawmakers by the President in form of a draft bill.
In an accompanying letter to the Senate President, David Mark, the president urged the lawmakers to expedite action in enacting the outcome of the conference into law.
It is doubtful what time the current seventh National Assembly, which has barely three days sitting period before it winds up on June 4, has to deliberate on the document.
The National Conference was inaugurated on the 17th of March, 2014, with the mandate to, among other things, discuss any issue about Nigeria with particular emphasis on finding solutions to the problems of national unity and development.
The 492-member delegates was also asked to come up with strategies to strengthen rather than weaken Nigeria’s unity and enhance a participatory and inclusive democratic system of government, even as they recognised the need to move the country forward and de-emphasise the narrow interest that define our fault lines.
Government further tasked the conference to spell out the modalities for the implementation of these recommendations and resolutions, as well as suggest any constitutional arrangement they consider best for Nigeria.
After three months and spending a whooping N27 billion on the conference, the conference turned in its report to the Federal Government in June last year.
The report contained recommendations and resolutions covering the following areas: agriculture and water resources, citizenship, immigration and related matters, civil society organisations, labour, sports, devolution of power, economy, trade and investment, energy, environment, foreign policy and diaspora matters, law, judiciary, human rights and legal reform. Land tenure matters and national boundaries, national security, political restructuring, and forms of government, political parties and electoral matters, policies and governance, public finance, public service, social sector, religion, science technology and development and transportation.
President Jonathan during his campaign period, particularly in the South West zone of the country, consistently assured that if re-elected, his administration would implement the outcome of the conference.
Jonathan in the covering memo to Mark yesterday, explained that the decision to forward the outcome of the conference to the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for consideration and necessary legislative actions followed the deliberation and adoption of the contents of the report by the Federal Executive Council.
According to the president, “at the meeting of FEC on March 8, 2015, council considered and approved the reports of the conference and resolved as fellows:
“That the draft bills be transmitted to the National Assembly for enactment into law.
“That the recommendations, resolutions that are outside the purview of the Federal Government be forwarded to the relevant tiers of government for implementations.
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