FG releases guidelines for proposed National Conference …492 delegates to attend

By The Citizen

The Federal Government has released the modalities of the National Conference.

According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, at a press conference in his office, a total of 492 delegates will partake in the dialogue which shall be named 'The National Conference', adding that the conference will last for a total of three months.

Anyim said nomination of delegates commence Thursday 30th of January  to 20th of February.

While giving a breakdown of the proposed composition of the National Conference, the SGF said government gave expeditious consideration to the report of the Advisory Committee and after long and mature deliberations on the report accepted the following recommendation for immediate implementation.

He said the official name of the conversation/conference shall be 'The National Conference'.

According to him, 'The National Conference shall hold in Abuja; The National Conference shall tentatively last for three months and shall discuss any subject matter, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation, therefore the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable; A conference management secretariat shall be established to manage, administer and run the affairs of the conference; decisions at the National Conference shall be by consensus; but where it is not achievable; it shall be by 75% majority', he said.

Anyim said further, 'The National Conference shall advise the government on the legal framework, legal procedures and options for integrating the decisions and outcomes of the national conference into the Constitution and laws of the country; and The National Conference shall have a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson of unimpeachable integrity'.

The SGF said the FG has since approved the next steps necessary towards actualizing the National Conference as follows:

30th, January to 20th February 2014 will be for the nomination of delegates; The inauguration of the Conference will follow soon after the delegate list is concluded.

A breakdown of the modalities for the nomination of the delegates is as follows:

Elder Statesmen: 1 per state and the FCT making a total of 37 will be nominated by the President;

Retired Military and Security Personnel which include 1 delegate per geopolitical zone each from the Military,  Police, State Security and National Intelligence Agency: making it a total of 18 delegates to be nominated by Stakeholders;

Traditional Rulers: 2 per zone and 1 from the FCT making a total of 13 delegates to be nominated by Stakeholders;

Retired Civil Servants: 1 per zone. A total of 6 to be nominated by Stakeholders;

Labour Representatives: the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) shall each nominate 12 delegates making it a total of 24 which would reflect Geo-political and gender balance;

The Organised Private sector: NECA, MAN, NACCIMA, NESG shall each nominate two delegates;

Nigeria Youth Organisations: National Youth Council of Nigeria, NANS, shall each nominate 6 delegates, one from each geo-political zone, while the Federal Government shall nominate 6 delegates, one from each geo-political zone for Other (Outstanding Youths and Role Models)  making it a total of 18 delegates;

Women Groups: National Council Of Women Society (NCWS) shall nominate 12 delegates, 2 per geo- political zone, while Market Women Association shall nominate 1 per geo-political zone. FIDA, NAWOJ, WINBIZ shall each nominate 2 Delegates;

Political Parties: parties that have representation in the National Assembly, including the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Congress (APC), APGA, Accord Party, Labour Party shall each nominate 2 delegates making it 10 delegates;

Christian and Muslim Leaders each shall nominate 6 delegates while Civil Society Organisations shall nominate 24 delegates across board;

Nigerians in diaspora ( Europe, America, Africa, Asia, and Middle East) shall nominate 2 delegates per location, making it 8 delegates;

People Living with Disabilities shall nominate 6 delegates, 1 per geo-political zone.

Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, Nigeria Guild of Editors, Nigeria Union of Journalists and the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria shall nominate 2 delegates each;

Socio - Political/ Cultural and Ethnic Nationality Groups shall nominate 15 delegates each, per geo-political zone to reflect religious and ethnic diversities;

Professional Bodies including NBA, NSE, CIB, NMA, NIM, NIA, ICAN, ANAN, NIPR, AAPN, NIESV, Nigerian Environment Society and  Nigeria Economic Society, shall each nominate 1 delegate, making it a total of 13 delegates.

National Academies including the Academy of Science, Academy of Engineering, Academy of Education, Academy of Letters and the Academy of Social Sciences shall each nominate 1 delegate;

The President shall nominate 6 persons not currently serving on the bench from the Judiciary;

Former Political Office Holders including Former governors, Senators Forum, House of Reps Forum and the Association of Former Speakers shall each nominate 1 delegate per geo-political zone making it a total of 24 delegates;

The Federal Government of Nigeria shall nominate 20 delegates of which atleast 6 will be women;

The state governments shall each nominate 3 delegates while the FCT shall nominate 1 delegate based on Senatorial District atleast one of whom shall be a woman. The nomination shall be done by the state governors and where the state fails to nominate, the President shall nominate the required number from the state;

The ALGON shall nominate 1 Former Local Government Chairman each from the six geo- political zones;

The President shall nominate the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Secretary, observing geo-political spread.

'The list of nominees shall be submitted either online to www.osgf.gov.ng   or in hard copy to the office of the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties Office), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase 1, 3rd Floor, Central Business District, Abuja. The formal inauguration of the Conference shall follow as soon as the nominations are received and collated' he said.

Anyim, while fielding questions from journalists the SGF said that there is already a proposal for the funding of the Conference in the Budget.

He added that the Conference will be concluded before the next election season.