A peek into the qualification details of the members of the National Assembly by Daily Trust on Sunday reveals that a staggering number of the parliamentarians got elected with Ordinary Level certificates during the 2015 general elections, a development that leaves doubts on the capacity and quality of legislation in the 8th National Assembly
..28 members in APC, 21 in PDP.
North-West, North-Central, North-East in the Lead.
A total of 45 federal lawmakers who got elected into the Nigerian parliament during the 2015 general elections to represent their various constituencies across the country were inaugurated into both chambers of the National Assembly with either Secondary School Certificates or Grade-II Teachers’ Certificates as their highest educational qualification, investigations by Daily Trust on Sunday has revealed.
Details of this, which was obtained after a scrutiny of the list of elected National Assembly members in the 2015 general elections as contained on the official website of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has left analysts expressing fears over the impact of such on the quality of legislation, especially in view of the fact that most of them are first timers with little or no experience as it relates to debates, initiation of bills and motions.
Nigeria’s National Assembly comprises 109 senators in the Upper Chamber (Senate) and 306 representatives in the Lower Chamber (House of Representatives), but observers say most of them in the current Eighth Assembly are hardly seen taking active part in proceedings. A check of the list from INEC website showed that 40 of the affected federal lawmakers, representing 11 per cent of the members, were elected into the House of Representatives while five got elected into the Senate.
The lists are separately titled: “Independent National Electoral Commission 2015 updated-elected Reps” and “Independent National Electoral Commission 2015 updated-elected Senators.” They are displayed on Microsoft spreadsheet in different columns indicating: state, constituency, name of candidate, sex, party, age and qualification of each member as at the time of the election.
While 28 of them were elected on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), 21 others got elected on the tickets of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with their qualification details indicating that they either possessed the West African School Certificate (WASC), Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), West African Examination Certificate (WAEC), General Certificate of Education (GCE) or Teachers’ Grade-II Certificate.
Although the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the possession of a School Certificate or its equivalent as the minimum requirement for election into the Senate and the House of Representatives, many critics have called for an upward review, saying the business of lawmaking, especially at the federal level, was a serious one that requires not only experience but a higher level of educational attainment.
Going by the 2015 elected National Assembly members list on the INEC website, an average of two representatives from each of the federal constituency in the country from the various zones got elected with Ordinary Level certificates.
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