A proposed bill seeking to raise the educational qualifications for key political offices in the country has been stepped down following rejection from lawmakers.

The legislation, sponsored by Adewunmi Onanuga (APC, Ogun), sought to amend the 1999 Constitution by mandating a university degree or its equivalent for aspiring presidents, governors, and other prominent government officials. 

The current constitution allows candidates with a mere First School Leaving Certificate to contest these positions.

During a debate at the House of Representatives plenary session on Tuesday, Onanuga argued that higher education was crucial for effective leadership.

The proposal gained initial support from key figures like House Leader Julius Ihonvbere and several other lawmakers. However, strong opposition emerged from Aliyu Madaki (APC, Kano) and Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Borno), who argued that the bill disenfranchises qualified individuals who may not have formal university degrees but possess valuable experience and leadership qualities.

Onanuga, therefore, chose to temporarily withdraw the bill. “It appears some of our colleagues need further lobbying. I will move to step down the bill for now,” she said.