Reps Step Down Bill Seeking Minimum of BSC, Equivalent For Political Office Holders in Nigeria

From Lateef Taiwo

The House of Representatives has stepped-downed a Bill that recommend, first degree, BSC, or it equivalent for all Political Office holders in the country.

In her lead debate, Hon Onanuga explained that the Bill is not targeted at stifling the interest of Nigerians in politics, rather it is a Bill that could help Nigerians to sufficiently prepare for the humongous task of political leadership.

Hon Onanuga further informed that higher qualifications for Political Office holders could enhance good leadership skills and effective representation.

According to the lawmaker,: “the race for elective offices at both State and national levels have become increasingly competitive”.

She equally observed that her proposed amendment could help out as a tenet of universal suffrage adding that it might also be counterproductive if people who are not sufficiently prepared educationally, get into elective offices.

The State legislators, the lawmaker further maintained are very important for making laws to govern the State in the interest of the people stating that office of the Governor is the highest political office in the State.

She also reminded lawmakers that the Federal legislators are very important for making laws for the general welfare and interest of the nation even as she stressed that the Office of the President is the highest political office in the land.

In another argument, the lawmaker who persuaded her colleagues to see the essence of her bill lamented that if a managing director in private or public agency cannot be employed without a university degree or its equivalent, then, there is an urgent need to amend the law so as to pave way for political offices holders to get at least a minimum of university degree or its equivalent.

“Invariably, by leaving the qualification of this political offices to remain at School Certificate level, we are implying that the NYSC is not a requirement to hold political offices but it is a requirement to secure a job in the Public Sector”.

During the debate, several lawmakers were against the bill while others supported it.

most lawmakers who debated the bill did so along ethnic and political lines as most of those who spoke against the Bill are from the Northern geo -political region while those in support where from south west geo political zone.

One of the lawmakers who opposed to the Bill, Hon.Babawo Jaha emphasized the need for political leaders to meet up with UNESCO standard for the nation to be at the same glance with other countries of the world

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Benjamain Kalu who presided over plenary during the time of the debate directed the stepping down of the Bill based on the request of the sponsor, claiming that such was done in the interest of the nation.


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