The House of Representatives has restated commitment and determination to amend the 1999 Constitution, to meet the yearnings of all Nigerians before the end of the ninth assembly.
The spokesperson of the House, Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), while addressing journalists on Thursday in Abuja, urged Nigerians to be patient with the parliament as amendment processes had reached an advanced stage.
“We started in 2020 to reshape the Constitution of Nigeria which is almost becoming obsolete because the society is dynamic, and as society progresses, different needs are defined and ways of solving those needs should be found in the grand norm.
“In the wisdom of the leadership of the House and the Senate, we decided to go for a review of the constitution; last (legislative) year, we scored major miles in making sure various steps needed to amend the constitution were taken.
“So many people want us to immediately review the constitution but we cannot; we cannot sacrifice quality on the altar of speed; so we urge Nigerians to be patient so that we go thoroughly.
“So that in the end, we can boldly say that the preamble of our constitution which says “We the people of Nigeria” will indeed be a true reflection of we the people of Nigeria,’’ he said.
He said the house is committed and determined to ensuring that the constitution amendment process was concluded in the third or fourth year of the ninth assembly.
Mr Kalu urged Nigerians to have faith in the legislators, saying that they had seen the gaps in the constitution and were willing to close it as much as possible, within the remaining time.
The spokesman said the House would also focus on revenue generation agencies, with a view to blocking revenue leakages in the country.
Mr Kalu said while some agencies under-remitted revenue to the Federal Government, some did not remit at all, while others spent their Internally Generated Revenue, without regard for the laws.
He said the parliament would amend establishment Acts, limiting agencies of government from remitting adequate funds to the Federal Government coffers.
The lawmaker said that any agency of government that failed to appear before the House Committee on Finance to account for revenue remittances, would not have Overhead and Capital expenditures in the 2022 budget.
Mr Kalu commended the efforts of the federal government in infrastructural development in the country, saying that it would be unfair for anyone to fault the government agenda on infrastructure.
He said though the target had not been met, Nigeria had moved far from where it used to be in terms of infrastructural development.
“There is no regime that has witnessed the kind of rail networks we are witnessing today; transportation is key to national development, the ability to move from one point to another is very important.
“We cannot overemphasis that and government has prioritised that and are spending a lot of money on that.
“I am from Bende Federal Constituency and never in our history, have we been able to get any road that is worth N12 billion, it is only under this administration that a road that was last touched in 1976, was being reconstructed.
“It is unfair to this government to say that the monies being borrowed are not being utilised, it is through such monies that are being borrowed, that our road is being fixed and a bridge which has collapsed and my people carry corpses on their heads to cross rivers for burial is being fixed.
“Check very well across other constituencies and you will see that the story is the same, the infrastructural development intervention of this administration is massive and should be commended,’’ he said.
Mr Kalu said that when the government failed to perform, the house would shout in line with its constitutional mandate and that the house would also laud when the government had done well.