Hon. Babajide Benson, the representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, has restated his call for upgrading of the minimum educational qualifications for those seeking political offices, this according to the young lawmaker, would improve the quality of governance.
Hon. Benson, who is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Defense, said that raising the academic qualifications would make those seeking elective offices to be actively engaged in politics.
To achieve these, the representative of the Ikorodu Federal Constituency, on February, 25, 2020, moved for the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (HB.740), to increase the minimum educational qualification for those aspiring to be elected into political offices.
Restating this in a statement at the weekend, Hon. Benson said that the bill currently before the Special Committee on Constitutional Review, will be considered in the next couple of weeks through the clause by clause amendments to the 1999 Constitution.
“The much desired change for quality governance may be unrealistic, if there is no corresponding quality in those we elect to formulate policies and implement programmes in the country”, Hon. Benson said.
“Anyone aspiring to lead, especially in Nigeria where her graduates are doing very well abroad, must be ready to invest in education and take self-development very seriously.
“Consequently, I am totally in support of the call seeking an upgrade of the minimum educational qualification for aspirants into political offices. This would also enable our youths to see reasons why they should actively participate in governance”, he added.
While stating that the National Assembly is working towards necessary constitutional amendments to encourage more youth participation in politics and good governance, the lawmaker also charged that residents, especially youths and women, should take personal development and registration for PVC seriously.
“It would be recalled that on February, 25, 2020, I moved for the amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2020 (HB.740) which seeks to increase the minimum educational qualification for aspirants seeking election into political offices”, Hon. Benson said in his statement.
“The bill currently before the Special Committee on Constitutional Review will be considered in the next couple of weeks via the clause by clause amendments to the 1999 Constitution towards enhancing the qualification of candidates seeking our votes as the current minimum requirement is this Senior School Certificate or its equivalent.
“While the 9th Assembly works towards the passage of the bill, our youths and women are urged to take self-development seriously and massively participate in the ongoing INEC Continuous Voters Pre-registration exercise towards the 2023 general elections.
“To this end, my iCare Foundation will, from January 22 to February 6, 2022, be providing computers, internet access and human resources at designated centres across Ikorodu Federal Constituency to assist eligible voters, especially those who have no ICT access or those that are finding it difficult to pre-register on INEC portal via (https://cvr.inecnigeria.org).
“The exercise will also cater for those who have lost their cards, changed address, and those who just turned 18 years, etc”, he added