Reps Seek Mandatory ‘State of the Nation’ Address for Presidents

Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

The House of Representatives is seeking to make it mandatory for every incumbent President of the country to address Nigerians on the state of the nation.

The green chamber is proposing a bill making it compulsory for the president to address a joint session of the National Assembly periodically, while the legislative chamber could also summon him, he failed to honour an invitation as and when necessary.

In the event that the bill becomes law, it would be compulsory for President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequent presidents to address the federal parliament.

The bill was sponsored by the lawmaker representing Ethiope-East/Ethiope-West Federal Constituency in Delta State, Mr Ben Igbakpa, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party as the State of the Nation Address Bill2020.

The legislation is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Make Provision for the State of the Nation Address By President and for Other Matters, 2020.’

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The bill read, “Be it enacted by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as follows:

“The president shall not later than six months from the date of enactment of the Appropriation Act, address a joint session of the National Assembly on the state of the nation.

“The president shall address the joint session aforesaid on such issues including but not limited to national security, the economy, budget performance, foreign policy and social justice.

“Where the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria fails, neglects or refuses to render the state of the nation address within the time stipulated by Section 1 of this bill, the National Assembly may by resolution supported by 2/3 (two-thirds) majority votes of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, summon the president to address the nation pursuant to the provisions of this bill.”

The bill is, however, silent on what happens where the president also shuns the summons by the National Assembly.

Source: Punch

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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