Members of the House of Representatives has said it would pass the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill before the National Assembly embarks on its two-month annual recess in July.
Recall that the House Committee on Electoral Matters presented the report on proposed amendments to the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill, which the chamber had yet to consider in the past two month
Although it did not give a specific day, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, stated that it would be passed before the end of July.
According to Kalu “It will hopefully be passed in a matter of weeks: end of June or first week of July 2021; before we close for the summer break. So, both the PIB and the Electoral Act will fly before our summer break.”
In a mid-term report released on Thursday and titled, ‘The Journey of the 9th House of Representatives at Two: An Up-To-Date Report on the Activities of the House’, Kalu noted that the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down legislative activities.
He said, “Substantial progress has also been made in the consideration of the much-anticipated Electoral Act (amendment) Bill which addresses reform issues like electronic voting and funding of political parties. The report of the relevant committee is currently before the House as the bill awaits passage.”
“It is expected that as Nigeria and the rest of the world emerge from the socio-economic effects of COVID-19, thanks to the vaccine, legislative activities will start to the peak without the constraints of COVID-19 protocols and social distancing. Pending legislation like the Petroleum Industry Bill and Electoral Act (amendment) Bill will receive speedy consideration and passage, and the House will continue to legislate for the good of the nation.”
However, the Chairman of the committee, Aishatu Dukku, had on February 23, 2021, had pleaded with the House to “receive the report of the Committee on Electoral Matters on a Bill for an Act to repeal the Electoral Act, 2010 and enact the Electoral Act, 2021 to regulate the conduct of elections in federal, States and Area Councils in the federal capital territory; and for related matters.”
The lawmakers had unanimously received the report.
Meanwhile, a coalition of non-governmental organisations, under the auspices of the Alliance of Civil Society Organisations for Expansion of Electoral and Democratic Space, has said it will storm the National Assembly complex the second time if the lawmakers fail to pass the amendment bill.
On May 19, 2021, the group had stormed the main gate of the National Assembly to demand quick passage of the electoral bill.