President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Wednesday urged members of the State Houses of Assembly in the 36 states to collaborate with the National Assembly in ensuring the timely amendment and passage of the 1999 Constitution this year.
Saraki stated this when the leadership of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, led by its Chairman, Hon. Ismaila Abdulmumin Kamba, visited him in Abuja, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu.
The Senate President described the amendment of the Constitution as a very important assignment to be carried out by both the 8th National Assembly and State legislatures in order to deepen democracy and move the country forward.
He said it was necessary for the leadership of the State Houses of Assembly to ensure that they make their input into the document when it gets to them without delay and transmit same to the National Assembly for its quick passage.
Saraki said: “I enjoin the State Houses of Assembly to partner with the National Assembly by taking this Constitution amendment exercise very serious in order to start implementing the new Constitution this year. We need to continue to do our best for those that elected us into positions of authority.”
He added that for the impact of the exercise to be felt early enough, “all hands must be on deck to ensure that it is passed this year.”
Senator Saraki assured the State Houses of Assembly of the Senate’s support and encouragement most especially in terms of capacity building and sharpening of their legislative skills to meet international best practices through the capacity building programmes of the National Institute of Legislative Studies (NILS).
Earlier, the Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Hon. Ismailia Abdulmumin Kamba commended the leadership qualities displayed by Saraki so far since his assumption of office.
Kamba who is also the Speaker of the Kebbi State House of Assembly, thanked the National Assembly for the trainings organized for its members by NILS which he said has helped to enhance the legislative activities of state lawmakers nationwide.