Against the backdrop of moves to make Nigerian youths participate more in governance, the House of Representatives on Tuesday considered a Bill seeking to make it compulsory for the inclusion of youths not less than 35 years into the Federal Executive Council, (FEC).
The bill which passed second reading at plenary is coming on the heels of a similar one seeking to reduce the age qualifications for interested candidates to contest for the positions of presidency, governor and senate in the country to 30 years.
The Bill, entitled; “A Bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to enhance political inclusion and participation of young people in governance in Nigeria” was sponsored by Raphael Igbokwe (PDP, Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise, Imo).
The Bill seeks to amend Section 147 of the constitution by adding a new sub-section (3) to read; (3) Any appointment under sub-section (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section (3) of this Constitution.”
Further, “provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint, (I) At least one minister from each state, who shall be an indigene of the state; (ii) At least one minister who shall not be more than the age of thirty-five years.”
The Bill is also seeking to amend section 151 to add a new sub-section (2) to read; “(2) The number of such advisers and their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or resolution of the National Assembly, provided that at least one of the Special Advisers shall not be more than 35 years of age.”
Furthermore, one of the Commissioners in every states of the federation shall not be more than 35 years, and section 196 be amended to include that at least one of the Special Advisers shall not be more than 35 years of age, the Bill also stipulated.
In his response, Rep Igbokwe who is Chairman of Young Parliamentary Forum, said that his group had set up a committee to carry out a day to day monitoring on how the policy of the Federal Government to recruit 500,000 Nigerians and the recruitment of 10,000 police officers would be implemented.
The lawmaker also hinted that the Young Parliamentarian Forum intends to hold a national youth summit to give a platform for young people to make contributions to the Constitution Amendment, emphasising that the youths constitute 65 percent of voters in the country.