The speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that there is a need to review the minimum educational requirement for intending political officeholders so they can stand at par with world standards.
He said this on Monday at the 52nd Convocation Lecture of the University of Lagos, where he delivered the Convocation Lecture titled, ‘Building Back Better: Creating a New Framework for Tertiary Education in Nigeria in the 21st Century.’The Speaker noted that the current requirement for elected public servants only reflected the era it was introduced and not the present in Nigeria.
Femi Gbajabiamila stated that the reduction in the age of eligibility for officeholders should be enough reason for an increment in the educational requirement. He added an increase in the educational requirement would help in reforming Nigeria’s electoral system and provide strong leadership for the country.
Femi Gbajabiamila said, “I also believe that the time has come for us to agree to review section 131 (d) of the 1999 constitution to increase the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to political office in Nigeria.
“The constitution requires a secondary school certificate or equivalent as the minimum academic qualification for high political office. “This is the requirement for qualification to contest election for Governor, the national assembly, and president. Ladies and gentlemen, this provision is the product of a different time and reflects the reality of that time.
“It is time to take another look at that position as part of the ongoing effort to reform our electoral system and establish a fully participatory democracy providing the capable leadership our country needs.” “As we have reduced the age for eligibility to contest those offices so also we should increase the minimum educational requirements.
“It will be another step in reforming our electoral system and providing strong leadership for the country. Let us lift our gaze from consideration of small things to focus on the pursuit and achievement of grand ambitions that lift us all and save the future.
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