Jonathan Hands Over Confab Reports To National Assembly For Approval


President Goodluck Jonathan

Barely 48-hours to the end of his tenure, President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday forwarded reports of the 2014 National Conference to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, urging them to consider and approve some relevant recommendations.

The reports formed a part of Jonathan’s presidential campaign at the last general elections in which it lost to the All Progressive Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari.

In a letter read by the Senate President, David Mark, Jonathan said the reports of the Confab which held between March and August last year, having been considered and approved at the Federal Executive Council level in March this year, needed to be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislative consideration and approval.

He explained that he forwarded the report to the parliament following a resolution to that effect at the Federal Executive Council level on March 18th this year when the report was considered and approved.

The letter titled: “Approval for the Implementation of the Recommendations/Resolutions of the National Conference 2014″ reads in part: ”

“May I draw the attention of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the enclosed report of the National Conference, 2014 which was deliberated upon and approved for implementation by the Federal Executive Council at its meeting of 18th March 2015.

“Your Excellency may recall that the National Conference was inaugurated on the 17th of March 2014, with the mandate to among other things: (a) discuss any issue about Nigeria with particular emphasis on finding solutions to the problems of national unity and development. (b), come up with strategies to strengthen rather than weaken Nigeria’s unity and enhance a participatory and inclusive democratic system of government. (c)’ recognise the need to move the country forward and de-emphasise the narrow interest that define our fault lines. d), spell out the modalities for the implementation of these recommendations and resolutions. (e) suggest any constitutional arrangement they consider best for Nigeria.

“Although, the national conference was not given any no go areas, it was enjoined to refrain from discussing the breakup of the country.

“Distinguished senators are invited to note that at the end of the conference, a report was submitted with recommendations and resolutions covering the following thematic areas:

“Agriculture and Water Resources, Citizenship,immigration and related matters, civil society organisations, labour,mouths and sports, devolution of power, economy, trade and investment, energy, environment, foreign policy and diaspora matters, law, judiciary, human rights and legal reform. Land tenure matters and national boundaries, national security, political restructuring and forms of government, political parties and electoral matters, policies and governance, public finance, public service, social sector, religion, science technology and development and transportation.

“The recommendation of the conference on the implementation modalities of the resolutions are contained in Chapter six of the report. The resolutions are classified into three broad categories, constitutional, legal and policy issues. The report further indicates that the nature of the actions to be taken, the objectives to be achieved and the agency that needs to take the actions.

“The conference also submitted draft bills of resolutions that require constitution amendments or legal amendments.

“At the meeting of FEC on 18th of March 2015, council considered and approved the reports of the conference and resolved as fellows. A. That the draft bills be transmitted to the National Assembly for enactment into law. B. That the recommendations, resolutions that are outside the purview of the federal government be forwarded to the relevant tiers of government for implementations. C. That relevant agencies of government should harmonise the conference resolutions with extant policies for immediate implementation.

“Distinguished Senate President, the report of the National conference is hereby forwarded to the senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for consideration and necessary legislative actions

“However, the senate after reading of the letter by the Senate President, David Mark, neither debated the reports nor forwarded it to any of its relevant committees for necessary action.”