Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, has lent his voice on the need for an urgent review of the minimum educational requirement for aspirants to the presidency and other elective positions.
He made this known at the 52nd Convocation ceremony of the University of Lagos, while insisting the current minimum requirement of a senior secondary school certificate or its equivalent is way too low.
He further noted that the current requirement for elected public servants is obsolete as it clearly reflects the era it was introduced and not the present-day Nigeria.
He said “I also sincerely believe that the National Assembly needs to look into section 131 (d) of the 1999 constitution with a view to increasing the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be future Presidents of Nigeria and other top offices including the National Assembly as against the current minimum requirement of a secondary school certificate or its equivalent.”
“As we have reduced the age for eligibility to contest those offices, so also, we should increase the minimum educational requirement. It will be another step in reforming our electoral system and providing strong leadership for the country.”
He reiterated that “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.”