The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, gave indications on Wednesday that Nigerians of 30 years of age would soon be eligible to be President of the country.
He explained that the provision was contained in a new bill seeking to lower the age qualification for persons vying for political offices in Nigeria.
Popularly tagged the “Not Too Young To Run Bill”, Dogara said it had passed second reading and referred to the Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.
Dogara spoke in Abuja when he addressed the plenary of the Nigerian Youth Parliament, stated that the aim of the bill was to give adequate representation to the country’s 60 percent youth population.
Specifically, the speaker explained that the bill would alter Sections 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 Constitution by simply lowering the age qualification bar.
If the amendment succeeds, the age qualification for the Presidency will drop from 40 to 30 years; Governor, 35 to 30 years; Senate, 35 to 30 years; House of Representatives and State House of Assembly, 30 to 25 years.
But, for the amendment to become law, it must secure the concurrence of the Senate.
It must also be approved by a two-thirds majority (24) of the 36 state Houses of Assembly in line with the provision of Section 9 of the constitution.
In addition, the speaker called for increased opportunity for youths so that they could realise their dreams.
“It is also my strong view that creativity and innovation are critical elements in engendering economic growth and development.
“Indeed the world is open for the youths to excel, especially in the area of technological development. Nigerian Youths can compete strongly in the technological field in the new world economy.
“We only need better technological education, funding and exposure to best practices,” Dogara said.