The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that the Presidential Transition Bill under consideration will help in solving the problems of a chaotic handing over and hostile taking over of power after any general election.
Dogara stated this while declaring open a Public Hearing on A Bill for An Act to Provide for the Smooth and Orderly transfer of Power from One Government to another held at the National Assembly.
He said the bill, when passed into law will ensure accountability and transparency in the system, and help minimize or avoid disruptions that might be occasioned by the transition.
” This Bill institutionalises the transition process and takes it out of the whims and caprices of the actors in the political arena”.
“This Bill seeks to make provision for the smooth and orderly transfer of power from one government to another. It provides that where at any general election for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, the incumbent President is not re-elected, the President shall within 2 weeks of the declaration of the President-Elect as the winner of the election, provide space for not more than ten (10) persons designated by the President-elect to begin a review and analysis of the budgetary expenditures during the tenor of the current president, review all other necessary documents as may be requested by the President-elect transition team and to acquire a working knowledge of the various offices, departments, commissions, boards and other agencies of the executive arm of the Federal Government with a view to promoting the orderly transition of executive power when government changes hands”.
The speaker who harped on the need to achieve peace and harmony during transition process saying, “the purpose of the Bill is to promote the orderly transfer of executive power in connection with the expiration of the term of office of a president and the inauguration of a new president. The national interest requires that such transitions in the office of the President be accomplished smoothly so as to assure continuity in the faithful execution of the laws and in the conduct of the affairs of the Federal government, both domestic and foreign. Any disruption occasioned by the transfer of the executive power could produce results detrimental to the safety and well-being of Nigeria”.
While making reference to the practice in other climes, the Speaker further said, ” In the United States of America, ‘The Presidential Transition Act (PTA) of 1963, as amended, established formal mechanisms to facilitate presidential transitions and authorizes the Administrator of General Services to provide facilities and services to eligible presidential candidates and the President- elect. A presidential transition facilitates the establishment of a new Administration and prepares it to govern. Additionally, as noted by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in a report on S. 1172 (114th Congress, Presidential Transitions Improvements Act of 2015), planning for a presidential transition helps to ensure the nation’s security’.
He called on members of the Committee to improve the Bill and be guided by best practices in other presidential democracies worldwide.