Nigerian Senate delegation seeks Forum expertise

Nigerian Senate Committee visit the Forum of Federations’ office on Sept 10, 2012

The Forum was honoured to host a visiting delegation of the Nigerian Senate Committee on the review if the 1999 Nigerian Constitution. The delegation was at Forum headquarters over two days from 10 11th of September.

The Senate Committee study tour focused on the Canadian federal system and experience in five main areas of interest to the constitutional review committee’s work, these were:

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.

Members and Consultants to 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

• Prof. Offornze D. Amucheazi,

• Dr. Maxwell Michael Gidado,

• Mr. Peter Eze

• Mr. Kenneth Ikonne

The committee was greatly honoured to include as part of their discussions 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.

Presentations were conducted by the Forum and by David Péloquin, from the Government of Canada and André Juneau, from Institute of Intergovernmental Relations. The delegation also received an informative presentation from the Government of Quebec’s, Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes (SAIC).

The final day of the visit also included, as part of the program, a Lunch and Learn presentation by the Nigerian Senate Committee on perspectives of Nigerian federalism. The delegation offered their insight on the comparisons between the two federal systems of Nigeria and Canada; as well as a description of their important work as part of the Constitutional Review Committee to the group of invited guests.

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