A bill seeking to increase the minimum education qualification to run for the office of the president, state governor, and federal legislation has passed the second reading at the house of representatives.
The bill is seeking to amend Sections 65, 106, 131, and 171 of the 1999 Constitution that state that a person must be qualified for election into the aforementioned elective offices if he/she “has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent”.
The bill which is sponsored by an Ogun state lawmaker, Adewunmi Onanuga, was unanimously passed for second reading on Tuesday, February 8, 2022.
Speaking on the bill, Onanuga said, “This is not a bill targeted at stifling the interest of Nigerians in politics, rather it is a bill that will help Nigerians to sufficiently prepare for the humongous task of political leadership.
As we have begun to see, the race for elective offices at both state and national levels has become increasingly competitive. While this is good as a tenet of universal suffrage, it can also be counterproductive if people who are not sufficiently prepared educationally, get into these elective offices.
If a managing director who holds an equally strategic position in a company within this country, cannot be employed without a university degree or its equivalent, why should the above political offices be held by people without a university degree or its equivalent?
We all know that after a university degree or its equivalent in this country, comes the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), without which it would be difficult to get into any employment especially within the public sector.
Invariably, by leaving the qualification of these political offices to remain at school certificate level, we are implying that the NYSC is not a requirement to hold political offices but it is a requirement to secure a job in the public sector.”