*Orders Executive to forward compiled list of treaties to NASS
The Senate on Tuesday revealed that out of about 300 international treaties entered into by Nigeria since independence, only 61 have been ratified.
It as well noted that out of 250 United Nations Treaties, Conventions, Charters and Protocols alone which Nigeria is a party, over 50 have not been ratified while many others require, succession, signature, acceptance or notification.
It also confirmed that there is no comprehensive and accurate data from relevant government institutions of government responsible for treaty management in Nigeria on exact number of treaties entered into by the country.
The Senate, therefore ordered the executive through the Federal Ministry of Justice to “produce a comprehensive record of all treaties that were entered into by Nigeria, those that were ratified by the National Assembly, those that are yet to be presented for ratification by the Executive and many others that require different forms of action by relevant institutions of government responsible for treaty management in Nigeria”.
It directed the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs ‘to establish a comprehensive database on status and management of treaties in Nigeria while it also urged the Executive to submit all Bills on outstanding treaties that requires ratification by the National Assembly.”
The Senate subsequently mandated its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters and Foreign Affairs “to liaise with the relevant ministries affected by the resolution to facilitate collation of the documents and report to the Senate within four weeks.”
The Senate action followed deliberation on a motion sponsored by Senator Bala IBM Na’allah (Kebbi South) on the need to exercise constitutional powers of the National Assembly to ratify treaties in Nigeria.
It was worried that a huge number of treaties have not been submitted to the National Assembly for domestication due to reliance on provisions of section 3(2) of the Treaty Making Procedure Act CAP T20 LFN, 2004 which classified treaties that requires ratification by the National Assembly and those that do not.
The Senate noted that section 12 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides that “no treaty between the Federal Government and any country shall have the force of law except to the extent which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly”.
With the development, the Senate regrets that the good reputation and image of Nigeria may continue to be low in the eyes of the international community and the country may suffer multidimensional loss if the National Assembly is denied its powers if ratifying treaties to acquire the force if law for application in Nigeria.
The upper legislative chamber observed that despite the recent roundtable on Treaties Management in Nigeria organised by the National Defence on February 13, 2018, some MDAs refused to comply with the decision of the Federal Executive Council ordering them through the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to forward all Treaties/ International Agreements to the Federal Ministry of Justice for disposition.