By Christiana Ekpa
The House of the Representatives yesterday gave the Federal Government 30 day ultimatum to transmit all signed treaties by the country to National Assembly for domestication.
The House further urged President Muhammad Buhari to stop all counterparts funding of all agreements and protocols with financial implication until they are domesticated by the National Assembly.
The Green Chamber equally mandated its committee on Treaties, Protocols and Agreements to immediately commence the review of all treaties, agreements and protocols signed and ratified by Nigeria.
so urged the President to ensure early engagement and involvement of the National Assembly in the Negotiation Team of any Treaty and International Agreement to which Nigeria is interested.
The House also called on Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to transmit all signed, ratified and domesticated Treaties and other International Agreements both bilateral and multilateral to the Register of Treaties in the Federal Ministry of Justice and to the National Assembly.
This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Ossai Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta).
Moving the motion, Hon. Ossai observed that “In Nigeria today, there is no accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date record of published compendium of register of Treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“Aware that the United Nation’s records shows that Nigeria has ratified over 400 Treaties both Bilateral and Multilateral on different subject matter, out of which not up to 40 can be identified as having been recorded locally by the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Justice”, he stated.
He said “on the 21st of August 2017 the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, was reported to have identified a major challenge to domestication of Treaties in Nigeria, the non-arrangement for early involvement of the National Assembly in the negotiation.
“Also observed that this has negatively impacted on the input in these Treaties, which adversely affects the facilitation on domestication and the full protection of the country’s International Agreements by the National Assembly”.
According to him, he was disturbed that some of these undomesticated Treaties could have a direct positive impact on the advancement of the fundamental rights of our citizenry and the nation’s economic growth.
The lawmaker added that he was worried that the non-involvement of the National Assembly and the failure to transmit all signed copies of Treaties and International Instruments to the National Assembly by the Executive arm of government has obviously affected the rate of domestication of these Treaties and has also denied our citizens the benefits associated with such International Documents.
“Cognizance of the fact that the intention of Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which vests that National Assembly with power to implement Treaties, is not a cloak in the wheel of Executive progress, but a sword to defend Nigeria’s, sovereignty and its territorial integrity.
“Concerned that, an urgent engagement by the legislature on the Executive will create a synergy that will lead to a cooperation and a collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature for a proper realization of the objective of Section 12 of the Constitution”
The motion was unanimously adopted when Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila who presided over the session put it to question.