The Committee was mandated to primarily examine the extant
structure and forms of governments in the context of the
peculiar circumstances of Nigeria’s diverse and multi -ethnic
It was also expected to examine Nigeria’s attendant challenges
and the need to lay a solid foundation for an all-inclusive and
cost-effective system of government which would serve the best
interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Where the President dies in office, is incapacitated, impeached
or where he resigns, Conference agreed that the Vice President
shall operate in acting capacity for a period of 90 days during
which an election to the same office would be conducted.
This decision was taken because each zone is expected to run the
full course of the constitutionally allowed tenure without undue
disruption; and it was also agreed that based on the adopted
zoning formula, when a president leaves under any of the
circumstances stated above, another president would be elected
from the same zone where the previous one came from.
Conference also voted in favour of Modified Presidential of
Government as recommended by the Committee; described as
home-made model of government that combines the attributes of
Parliamentary and Presidential systems.
The concept is believed to have the potentials of entrenching
the principle of Separation of Powers as practiced in
presidential system and promotion of co-operation and harmony
between executive and the legislature as operated under the
The President elected under the new system shall exercise full
responsibility for his government and shall select ministers,
not more than 18 of them, from the six geo-political zones of
It was agreed that henceforth, the Minister of Finance and no
longer the President as presently obtained, would present the
annual budget to the National Assembly.
Under the new arrangement, both the President and the ministers
would be expected to appear before the National Assembly to
render account of their stewardship on quarterly basis.
Conference also voted to retain the bicameral legislative system
instead of the unicameral proposed by the Committee in its
Still on local government administration, delegates approved the
scrapping of Joint State and Local Government Accounts; to be
replaced with a State Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and
The body would be expected to have as members, representatives
of local government areas and a chairman nominated by the state
governor for confirmation by the state House of Assembly.
In addition to the functions conferred on the local government
councils as specified in the Fourth Schedule of the 1999
Constitution as amended, a State House of Assembly may by law,
confer other functions on the local government.
Henceforth, and except otherwise overturned, Conference adopted
a recommendation to confer financial autonomy on State Houses of
Assembly as a way of freeing them from direct control by the
Conference agreed that the Constitution shall fix the tenures
for local government councils.
It was also voted that for functionality, local government
should be politically and economically independent.
Delegates voted overwhelmingly on the proposal that each state
of the federation should have its own constitution which of
course would be subservient to the Federal Constitution.
While agreeing that the Constitution should be amended to allow
for less onerous process for state creation, Conference
specifically approved the creation of an additional state for
the South East zone, “in the spirit of reconciliation, equity
As soon as the unanimous decision was taken, the hall erupted in
celebration as delegates from the South East went around shaking
hands and thanking other delegates for their support.
Henceforth, it said state creation should be on the basis of
parity between the geo-political zones to ensure equality of
On the creation of new states, Conference said such aspiration
must be backed by the potential viability of the proposed state
in terms of economic potential, human natural and material
resources as well as minimum land and water mass.
The envisaged state, delegates agreed, must have cultural and
historical antecedent, with strong cultural affinity amongst its
population while the component should be contiguous.
In addition, Conference adopted the recommendation that for any
new state to be created such a new state must have a minimum
population of one million persons.
Conference approved in principle, the eventual creation of 18
additional states across the country as a way of meeting the
yearning and aspirations of the people.
During consideration of additional recommendations, Conference
unanimously adopted a proposal that Nigeria reverts to her old
National Anthem, “which is a more credible symbol of unity,
peace and prosperity.”
Instantly, delegates were up on their feet and in unison sang
the first stanza of the old National Anthem which if adopted
eventually, would become the new anthem.
It was equally resolved that the right to self-determination by
the states as federating units should be extended to ethnic
nationalities within the states if they so desired.
As a policy item, the Federal Government was urged to set up a
new commission to address the plight of indigenes of the Federal
At the same time, Conference said the Local Content Act
Provision should be extended to the original citizens of the
Federal Capital as it relates to procurement within the
However, attempts by some delegates to increase the number of
senators from the Federal Capital Territory from one to two was
opposed to and voted out.
As a way of improving the wellbeing of many Nigerians,
Conference called for adoption of fiscal federalism.
As the Conference winds down on its activities, delegates
resolved on the need for modalities for entrenchment of
referendum in the Constitution.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
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