Lunch & Learn: Nigerian Federalism – Perspective from the States

Members of the delegation of the visiting Nigerian Senate Committee. Sept 11, 2012

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the Forum held a Lunch – and – Learn panel discussion with the delegation of the visiting Nigerian Senate Committee on their perspectives on Nigerian federalism. The delegation shared their views on Nigeria’s federal system in comparison with their observations of Canada’s federal system.

The delegation was in Canada and the Forum headquarters as part of its review of the 1999 Constitution. This important study tour focused on the Canadian experience in issues of interest to the work of Senate Committee. The study tour was concerned with five main areas of Canadian Federalism as part of its review of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution:

1. Distribution of Powers:
2. Fiscal Federalism
3. Sub-national Unit Police (Provincial, local, metropolitan)
4. Autonomy of Local Governments
5. Citizenship Rights

The Senate Committee was composed of Senators:

• Senator Umaru Dahiru (Sokoto State), Member of the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters;

• Senator Barr. Enang Ita Solomon James (Akwa Ibom State), Member of the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business;

• Senator Ahmed Mohammad Makarfi (Kaduna State), Member of the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, and former Governor of Kaduna State;

• Senator Barr. Lanlehin Olufemi Akinola (Oyo State), Member of the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Planning.

The panel was greatly honoured to include as part of the discussion Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Canada, His Excellency Ambassador Ojo Uma Maduekwe, who is the former Minister of External Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and only recently arrived to fulfill his mandate in Canada.

Consultants and members of the committee were:

Dr Innocent Mebiri – Committee Secretary

Mr Ndubuisi Nwigwe – Special Assistant (Administration) to the Deputy President of the Senate/Chairman Constitutional Review Committee

Consultants to the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution:

Prof. Offornze D. Amucheazi,

Dr. Maxwell Michael Gidado,

Mr. Peter Eze

Mr. Kenneth Ikonne

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