The House of Representatives, on Thursday, announced that a bill that seeks to create 111 seats solely for women in the National Assembly has passed its second reading.
Sponsored by Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and 85 other members, the bill is titled, “A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, to create Additional Special Seats for Women in the Federal and States Legislative Houses; and for Related Matters.”
It was first read on the 22nd of April and aims to generate more seats for women in the Senate and the House of Representatives and to amend Sections 48, 49, 71, 77, 91 and 117 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
During the debate for the bill which held on Wednesday, Nkiruka stated that it would solve the problem of “low representation of women in legislative houses by providing additional seats to be contested and filled by only women in both the National Assembly and the state Houses of Assembly as a temporary measure to promote women’s representation”.
The Deputy Chief Whip also noted that a review of the constitutional provision would take place after four general election cycles or every 16 years for the purpose of “retaining, increasing or abolishing the temporary measure.”
Currently, only about 18 seats are held by women in the National Assembly out of 360 House of Representatives seats and 109 Senate seats. If successfully passed into law, the bill would bring the Senate to a total of 146 seats and the House of Reps to a total of 434 seats, PUNCH reports.
A Bill for an Act to Alter the Provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to create Additional Special Seats for Women in the Federal and States Legislative Houses has passed second reading.
— House of Reps NGR (@HouseNGR) April 28, 2021
Photo Credit: @nkeiruka_reps