We’ll pass Electoral Amendment Bill this year, Senate assures Nigerians

The Senate Wednesday gave an assurance that the 2010 Electoral Act Amendment Bill before it will be passed before the end of 2020.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kabir Gaya (APC Kano South), who gave the assurance,  said the Senate had gone far in the task of amending the Electoral Act.

According to him, the committee had shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic held interactive workshop with stakeholders and will soon hold a public hearing on the issue before the presentation of the report to Senate at plenary later in the year.

He said: “Few months before the COVID-19 pandemic we had a retreat in Lagos with INEC commissioners, the chairman himself and other international stakeholders came in also to contribute to the process and all members had a draft of the electoral act amendment which we discussed.”

“We also invited INEC to give us their input based on their experience in the last few elections and the problem they had with the Act, what will be their advice on the areas to amend or his own suggestions on the amendment on the existing Act.

“We have complied the two reports and we intend to have a public hearing. We were just discussing with the members how soon we will do the public hearing so that we can present this report to the Senate for the third reading and then forward it to the President for signing of the amended Act, I believe we are working hard.

“For Nigerians who are really keen we are also ready and keen in passing it. Members of the committees are with experience, ranking Senators with experience, former Governors with experience and we have gone through this reports and I believe Nigerians will be happy with the final Electoral Act 2020.

Senator Gaya further stressed that work on the amended electoral Act will be completed as soon as the Senate returns from its annual vacation in September, this year.

“The issue of electronic voting which is also part of it is in the Electoral Act we have to pass it and send it to the President, we have to pass it as soon as possible so that the process or even preparing those materials and the process of a pilot project to see if can work well.

“We are making efforts and we are assuring Nigerians that a few months from now we will get the electoral act ready”, he further explained.

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