Mr. Ekweremadu asked for a minimum qualification of Ordinary National Diploma for lawmakers.
The Nigeria Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has asked African parliaments to set up a higher formal education benchmark for members of the parliament. He suggested a minimum of Ordinary National Diploma for lawmakers in various African States.
Mr. Ekweremadu said this at the 14th conference of commonwealth speakers and presiding officers in African, holding in Mahe, the Republic of Seychelles.
The senator explained that the harsh effect of long years of military rule on the development of African legislatures has shown that the challenges of legislating for the 21st century African societies had made higher educational qualifications for lawmakers an imperative.
He added that ‘The theater of politics at the domestic and international levels is changing drastically; this has thrown up many complicated issues like terrorism, piracy, climate change and global warming, child trafficking, global economic recession, trade imbalance between the North and South, cyber-crimes, among others, which requires some form of intellectual sophistication to deal with.
“African Parliament must set higher standards of education for their members in order to adequately respond to these challenges, it is only logical to prescribe an Ordinary National Diploma or Associate Degree as minimum qualification for membership of individual African Parliaments to enhance the quality of debate and the product of parliamentary business,” he said
He added that through the Nigerian law provides for a minimum of senior school certificate or its equivalent; findings also revealed that 96.33 percent of 109 senators and 92 percent of the 360 members of the House of Representatives possessed educational qualifications higher than the minimum requirements.
Mr. Ekweremadu commended many African Parliaments for the impressive pedigree of their members despite the absence of prescribed minimum educational qualifications in their laws.
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