Reps begin push for parliamentary system

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Members of the House of Representatives have begun moves to return the country to a parliamentary system of government.

A bill aimed at amending the 1999 Constitution to achieve the goal was presented on the floor of the House yesterday during a plenary presided over by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

About 71 members of the 360-strong Green Chamber are believed to be backing the bill.

“The economies of nations are known to thrive on the confidence of investors in the system and character of government. The level of instability and volatility of the presidential system makes it difficult to achieve economic objectives,” Mr. Ossai Nicholas Ossai explained.

Speaking on behalf of the members, Ossai, who is the chairman of the House Committee on Public Petition, told reporters after the session that the decentralisation of powers in a parliamentary system would douse ethnic and religious tensions in Nigeria.

According to him, “The overcentralisation of government decisions that are prevalent in the presidential system obstructs economic development when compared to the parliamentary or hybrid system.

“The point has also been made that the too powerful nature of the presidential system often leads to greater fluctuations in the economy with a change of office. This was witnessed in Nigeria in 2015 and is currently being experienced as we prepare for the 2019 elections.”

 

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