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Senator Ned Nwoko

Why parliamentary govt. is best for Nigeria – Lawmaker

By Deborah Coker

Abuja, Feb. 19, 2024

The lawmaker representing Delta North Senatorial District, Sen. Ned Nwoko on Monday said that a parliamentary system of government in Nigeria will promote participatory democracy.

Nwoko said this would in turn foster greater accountability and responsiveness in governance.

The legislator who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Abuja, further said that the system would also help overhaul the existing Presidential model.

He explained that with a parliamentary system of government, the national government would be spearheaded by a Prime Minister, elected from the majority party within parliament, for a designated term.

Nwoko said the parliament would consist of two chambers which would include an upper chamber comprising 37 elected traditional rulers, representing each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, and a lower chamber composed of 109 elected politicians.

He explained that both chambers would be tasked with legislative duties and engaging in regular question and answer sessions with the Prime Minister.

The lawmaker further explained that the regional level would see the emergence of six elected Deputy Prime Ministers, each representing one of Nigeria’s geopolitical regions.

“This tier of governance will be further fortified by the establishment of Regional Traditional Rulers Councils, consisting of nominated traditional rulers from each senatorial district within the region.

“Additionally, each region would boast of its own parliament, which will be composed of elected representatives tasked with crafting regional legislation and electing a deputy prime minister from among their ranks.

“Furthermore, the rotational allocation of the prime minister position among the six geopolitical zones, will mitigate regional disparities and foster a sense of inclusivity and equitable representation at the national level,” Nwoko said.

He explained that by distributing leadership responsibilities across the diverse regions of Nigeria, a more harmonious and cooperative political landscape would evolve.

Nwoko who had since December 2023, proposed a bill on the parliamentary system of government, which was submitted to the Rules and Business Committee of the Senate, said that the system would streamline governmental expenditure and facilitate more robust policy deliberations.

According to him, an integral part of his proposal is the consolidation of Nigeria’s states into regions, thereby eradicating the current state structure.

“This move aims to foster greater cohesion and collaboration among regions while reducing administrative redundancies and costs associated with maintaining individual state apparatuses.

“It also highlights the enhanced role of local government councils in regional governance, devolving more authority to the grassroots level, with the aim to empower communities and promote participatory democracy,” Nwoko said.

NAN reports that last week, the push for a parliamentary system of government took center stage as no fewer than 60 lawmakers rallied behind constitutional amendments.

The lawmakers from the House of Representatives threw their support behind amendments to the 1999 Constitution aimed at effecting this transition.

Their rationale was multifaceted, citing the imperative to streamline government expenditure among others as key drivers for the proposed shift.

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