Bill proposing HND as minimum qualification for president, gov advances at the Senate
The bill seeks to amend Section 131(iv) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which provides the minimum educational qualification to run for president as School Certificate level or its equivalent.
A bill that seeks an upgrade in the educational qualification standards for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, state governors as well as federal and state lawmakers passed for second reading on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang, representing Plateau North Senatorial District, prescribes Higher National Diploma (HND) or its equivalent as the minimum educational qualification for anyone running for the office of the Nigerian president.
The bill seeks to amend Section 131(iv) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which provides the minimum educational qualification to run for president as School Certificate level or its equivalent. The proposed amendment of this section reads: "He has been educated up to at least HND level or’ its equivalent.”
The existing law also provides the same educational requirements for the offices of the Vice-President (Section 142(2)); Governor and Deputy Governors (Sections 177(d) and 187(2)); Senator and Member of House of Representatives (Section 65(2) (a)); and member of House of Assembly (Section 106(c)).
The bill also prescribes a higher educational qualification for anyone to be eligible to run for the offices of governor and become a senator or member of the House of Representatives. The bill by Gyang of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), is titled: “A Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), 131 (d), Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) therein, to provide for minimum qualification for election into the National and States Assembly, Office of the President and Governors, and other related matters, 2020.”
The proposal to amend Section 65(2) (a) of the constitution, which provides the qualification standard for federal lawmakers, increases the qualification to "at least a National Diploma level or its equivalent.” Meanwhile, the same provision of HND, proposed as the minimum qualification for president, also applies to state governors in the proposed amendment of Section 177(d).
According to the current law, the minimum educational requirement for anyone seeking to be a member of any House of Assembly is School Certificate level or its equivalent. The bill, which scaled second reading today, increases the qualification standard to "National Diploma level or its equivalent.”
Following the electoral disputes that greeted the 2019 general election in Nigeria, there were public outcries over the courts' position on the level of qualification required to run for president.
After the bill was passed for second reading by senators, it was referred to the Committee on Constitution Review by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.
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