Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, has said the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the plans for votes to be taken on the constitution alteration bills in December 2020.
Omo-Agege who chairs the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, disclosed on Friday in his New Year message titled ‘We Must Not Give In To Despair.’
He, however, promised that all hands are on deck to ensure that the votes are taken soonest and the report of the panel would be ready in record time.
He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic disrupted our earlier plans to have the constitution alteration bills voted on sometime in December last year. Consequently, we will have those votes taken on each of these bills separately in not too distant time.
“I firmly believe that we are on course to true greatness. Let us keep hope alive as we renew our collective resolve to ensure that the dreams and labour of our heroes past are transformed into a better future for succeeding generations,” Omo Agege said in the statement.
He also called on Nigerians to use the New Year to renew their commitment to collective prosperity, growth, and development by contributing more to nation-building and stressed the need for citizens to continue to demonstrate love and exhibit compassion towards one another.
The lawmaker acknowledged the resilience and perseverance of Nigerians in the midst of the socio-economic difficulties in the Year 2020, occasioned by the novel Coronavirus pandemic, and urged them to reignite their undying spirit and enter the New Year with vigour and hope.
“Covid-19 has upended the global economy with its devastating effects not only on health but on domestic economies and multilateral trade, cooperation and aid. It has led to a recession in various countries, killed over a million people, and wiped out millions of jobs.
“We are also confronted with security challenges in most parts of the country.
“As Nigerians, we stand together, confident that we shall again, overcome these challenges. Our ability to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt, what we need now more than ever is to galvanise these unique qualities for the good of all.
“As a people, we must continue to imbibe the spirit of togetherness and love for one another. We must also support government at all levels by contributing our quota to the generation of wealth and the alleviation of poverty in the land,” he stated.
The Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) had earlier in August 2020 commenced the process of reviewing the 1999 Constitution(as amended) Alteration Bills and amending certain provisions of the law.
The Ad-hoc Committee which is chaired by Omo-Agege constitutes 58 lawmakers representing the 36 States of the Federation and the six geo-political zones. Other members of the Ad-hoc Committee include the eight Principal Officers of the Senate.
Since the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, several constitution amendment bills have been proposed by lawmakers and referred to the Ad-hoc Committee for further legislative action.