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Reps’ Bill for 147 more NASS, State Assemblies seats for women passes 2nd reading

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House of Representatives, has passed for second reading a bill seeking to create a total of 147 special legislative seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly.

The bill which is being sponsored by the deputy chief whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, and 85 others, apart from proposing  36, 37 and special seats in the State Houses of Assembly, Senate and the lower chamber respectively, but exclusively for women, also seeks to create one addition seat for women in the 36 State Houses of Assembly across the country.

According to Onyejeocha, while proposing alteration of Sections 48, 49, 71, 77 and 91 of the 1999 Constitution ( as amended) an additional senate seat and two House of Representatives seats exclusively for women, respectively,  in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the bill is necessary to boost women participation in politics.

“Women have only 4.4 percent representation in the 9th National Assembly. You may wish to note that Nigeria has been identified as the worst performer in women representation in parliaments, in the West African region and one of the lowest in the whole of Africa. This is evidenced in the most recent Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) ranking of women in parliaments where Nigeria ranks 179 out of 187 Countries Worldwide. Eritrea is the only African Country ranked lower than Nigeria and this is because there have not been national elections since its independence in 1993,” he said.

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