Reps Move To Create 111 Seats For Women In National Assembly

The House of Representatives has moved to provide special seats for women at National Assembly and state houses of assembly as it passes a bill through second reading.

The bill, which seeks to alter some provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) was sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

Presenting the bill during plenary on Wednesday, she said it sought to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to remedy the low representation of women in legislative houses.

She added that the bill wanted the creation of additional separate seats to be contested and filled by only women in the National Assembly and State houses of assembly as a temporary measure to promote women’s representation.

“The provision is subject to a review after four general election cycles of 16 years for the purpose of retaining, increasing, or abolishing the temporary measure,” she said.

If the bill is passed and assented to by the president, the number of federal lawmakers will rise from 369 to 480, our correspondent reports.

The bill proposes one more Senate seat for each of the 36 states and FCT. For the House of Representatives, it proposes two additional seats for each of the 36 states and FCT. The new seats would be dedicated to women.

Onyejeocha added that the bill comprised of six major clauses that sought to alter sections 48; 49; 71; 77; 91; and 117.

She said Section 48 of the Principal Act would be altered by substituting it with a new section “48”.

The lawmaker noted that women had only 4.4 per cent representation in the 9th National Assembly adding that, Nigeria had been identified as the worst performer in women representation in parliaments in the West African region and one of the lowest in the whole of Africa.

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