Ekweremadu Advocates First Degree Qualification for Senators, Reps


Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has asked African governments to make Bachelors Degree the least required educational qualification for legislators in the continent, saying such was necessary given the challenges of the 21st Century African societies.
Senator Ekweremadu, who decried the harsh effect of long years of military rule on the development of African legislatures, insisted that the challenges of legislating for 21st Century African societies had made possession of higher educational qualifications imperative for parliamentarians in the continent.
In a statement Wednesday, in Abuja, by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, Senator Ekweremadu stated this in Mahe, the Republic of Seychelles, where he is attending the 14th Conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers of African Region.
The statement quoted the Deputy Senate President as saying: “The theatre of politics at the domestic and international levels is changing drastically.”
According to Eweremadu, the development had: “Thrown up many complicated issues like terrorism, piracy, climate change and global warming, child trafficking, global economic recession, trade imbalances between the North and South, cyber-crimes, among others, which require some form of intellectual sophistication to deal with.
“Accordingly, African Parliaments must set higher standards of education for their membership 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 businesses,” he added.
Senator Ekweremadu, however, commended many African parliaments for the impressive pedigree of their members, despite what he called the “absence of minimum qualifications or prescription of low qualifications in their laws.”
He noted that though the Nigerian law provides for a minimum of Senior School Certificate or its equivalent, research during Nigeria’s Sixth National Assembly showed 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.
Senator Ekweremadu also disclosed that the entire members of Ghanaian Parliament within the same period possessed a minimum of Bachelor’s Degree



Dailytimes
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