National assembly working to include gender in federal character principle – Gbajabiamila

Speaker of the house of representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that the national assembly is working to include gender in the federal character principle.

This was stated on Wednesday by Gbajabiamila when he received a delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) in Abuja.

Section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution stipulates that “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies”.

Speaking on promoting the inclusion of more women in governance, Gbajabiamila said the legislature will utilise the ongoing constitutional amendment process to include gender in the federal character principle.

He also said the house of representatives is working on some bills to promote more opportunities for persons living with disabilities (PLWDs).

“What we are doing is that we are going through a constitutional amendment process,” he said.

“We are looking at gender issues in a way to address the two sides. Even in the way we apply the federal character principle, we want to go beyond ethnicity to include gender and others as well.”

According to the speaker, CPA has promoted quality working relationships among parliaments.

He said the house of representatives, under his leadership, is using parliamentary diplomacy as a mechanism to assist the executive in tackling issues involving other countries.

“We have used it in Ghana, in South Africa and other areas where we needed to intervene to resolve some issues,” he said.

Gbajabiamila added that the Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments (COSAP), which he initiated in 2020, “helped our various nations to address development challenges on the continent”.

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