...Receives 56 Requests For State Creation
As the Senate begins a two-day public hearing on Thursday, in the six geo-political zones of the country, Deputy Senate President Mr. Ike Ekweremadu has assured that the amended constitution would be concluded by the third quarter of next year.
The House of Representatives only last weekend concluded its own organised public hearings in the 360 federal constituencies throughout the country.
The two-day public hearings according to the law maker would hold in Sokoto, North West; Gombe, North East; Makurdi, North Central; Calabar, South-South; Enugu, South East and Lagos; South West.
Mr. Ekweremadu at a pre-hearing briefing in Abuja told journalists ahead of the two-day hearing that the Senate had so far received 241 memoranda from Nigerians to update the ones carried over from the sixth Senate.
He disclosed that aside the memoranda, 56 requests for state creation were also received and listed issues at stake to include devolution of powers, state creation, constitutional recognition for the six geopolitical zones, local government system, fiscal federalism, residency and state of origin, and the police system.
Others areas for consideration according to him are rotation of offices, immunity clause, executive (terms of office and system of government), judicial reforms, mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory, gender and special interest matters.
Mr. Ekweremadu said "Nigerians will also be expected to bare their minds on constitutional roles for the traditional rulers, and removing the Land Use Act, National Youth Service, and Code of Conduct from the 1999 Constitution".
On the time line for the conclusion of the project, the deputy senate president said "as I pointed out sometime in June this year, our target is to ensure that we conclude this work by the third quarter of 2013. That should be in July so that it is steered clear of the politics of 2015 general election".
He said "collation of inputs will end by this last quarter of 2012 to enable us submit our report to the Senate by March 2013. It is hoped that debates will have commenced by April 2013".
The senate and the House of Representatives are expected to devote next week to the consideration of the 2013 budget current undergoing committees processing.