Lawmakers oppose bill to increase education qualifications of president, governors, NASS members

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To raise the educational threshold for running for office in Nigeria, a member of the House of Representatives proposed amending the constitution; however, the bill ran into opposition and was not approved by the House.

The bill, which was sponsored by Oriyomi Onanuga, was discussed on Tuesday for more than two hours before it was finally withdrawn.

Onanuga, who spearheaded the discussion, stated that the nation is not ready to stop at a secondary school diploma as the level of education.

She argued for raising the bar for all elective positions to a minimum of a university degree.

“Are we implying that our pupils lack logic?” She asked during the debate she led.

Babajimi Benson, who supported the bill, noted that it was long overdue and added, “I sponsored the same bill in the last assembly.” The House ought to endorse it. If someone is against this measure, they ought to be questioned about whether or not their kids attend college.

Leke Abejide, Julius Ihonvbere, the majority leader, and Kingsley Chinda, the minority leader, were among the six members who testified in favor of the bill.

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Chinda contended that primary school diplomas shouldn’t be accepted for public office since they are insufficient for employment in the private sector.

“We cannot have mediocrity in running the affairs in a nation or a country,” stated Abejide, expressing his concerns. It is quite risky.

Seven legislators, however, expressed their opposition to the bill. Borno State’s Ahmed Jaha underlined that certification is not the same as wisdom and pleaded his colleagues to uphold the current constitution.

Rejecting the bill as well, Aliyu Madaki said, “Your leadership quality is not determined by education.”

As more lawmakers disagreed with the bill’s aim, Onanuga eventually resigned the bill in the face of mounting criticism.

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