President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that he will soon sign the ” Not Too Young to Run” Bill into law
The President stated this amongst others in his Democracy Day broadcast to the nation, to mark the 3rd anniversary of his administration in office.
The President who used the opportunity to list his administration’s achievements in office in the last three years, announced that ” In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the “Not Too Young to Run” Bill”
The Bill which was passed since July, 2017 had been undergoing several legislative processes as stipulated for the amendment of any section of the 1999 constitution.
The bill which was enacted by the National Assembly seeks to amend Section 131(b) of the 1999 Constitution which requires that ” a person is qualified to be President if he has attained the age of 40 years”
The Bill also amended Section 65(a&b) which stipulates 35 and 30 years as age that must be attained to contest for the Senate and the House of Representatives, respectively, by the Constitution
The Bill finally received the nods of 24 states of Nigeria as required for the amendment of the Constitution in February this year
The President’s assent to the Bill will mean that Nigerian youths can now contest for the office of the President at the age of 35, while the Bill reduces the age required for Governors or Senators to 30 years, from the initial 40 and 35 years limit respectively,
This also means that 25-year-old people, can now legislate in the National and State Assemblies across the country, as against the earlier 30 years stipulated by the Constitution
The Bill has received worked wide support as many move to encourage more young people’s participation in political activities
President Buhari had listed several areas of his administration’s achievements within the last three years, especially in the areas of fighting corruption and plans to reposition the economy.
He disclosed that Social Investment Programmes (SIP) has been created as a means to graduating our citizens from poverty through capacity building, investment and direct support. The major strategic objective is to restore livelihood, economic opportunities and sustenance for the poor across the country.
These includes the Home Grown School Feeding Programme where about 8.2 million pupils are currently being fed from 24 States of the Federation with over 75,000 Catering Staff engaged under the programme.
Others are the Conditional Cash Transfer, which has so far recorded over 297,000 caregivers and being trained by 2,495 Community Facilitators in 21 states.
“Less privileged Nigerians are now being paid N5,000 monthly stipend in 9 pilot States of Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Ekiti, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Osun and Oyo. Eventually the scheme will cover all the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.
Under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, no fewer than 264,269 loans had been disbursed to 4,822 societies in the 36 States and FCT, while another 370,635 are awaiting release of funds.
Under the N-Power Job creation Scheme, targeted at providing jobs for unemployed young graduates, 200,000 youths have so far been recruited , while the next batch of 300,000 have been selected, verified and would soon be deployed across the 36 States and the FCT
20,000 other non-graduate volunteers have also been selected to kick off the N-Build programme in collaboration with the National Automotive Design and Development Council and the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.