The House of Representatives, on Thursday, urged Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to transmit all signed, ratified and Domesticated Treaties and other International Agreements to the National Assembly within two weeks.
The lawmakers said that the agreements, both bilateral and multilateral should also be submitted to the Registry in the Federal Ministry of Justice.
NAN reports that this was sequel to a motion by Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), which was unanimously adopted at the plenary on Thursday.
Moving the motion earlier, Ossai said that local statutes of any country were not always sufficient to address issues of man’s existence and sustenance.
Ossai said that there was an undoubted need for International Laws to complement local statutes.
According to the lawmaker, International Laws remained a major source of Nigeria’s law, which in principle is fundamentally binding on Nigeria.
He said that there was no accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date record of a published compendium of treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
Ossai said that the United Nation’s records showed that Nigeria had ratified over 400 Treaties, both bilateral and multilateral on different subject matters.
He said that only less than 40 of those treaties can be identified as having been recorded locally by the Federal Ministry of Justice.
According to him, on Aug. 21, 2017, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami was reported to have identified a major challenge to domestication of Treaties in Nigeria as non-arrangement for early involvement of the National Assembly in the negotiation processes.
The legislator said that Malami observed that it had adversely affected facilitation, domestication and full protection of Nigeria’s International Agreements.
Ossai said that some of the undomesticated Treaties could have a direct positive impact on advancement of the fundamental rights of the citizenry and the nation’s economic growth.
He said that the non-involvement of the National Assembly in the negotiation process and the failure to transmit all signed Treaties and International instruments to the National Assembly by the Executive Arm of Government had affected the rate of domestication.
“The intention of Section 12 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which vests the National Assembly with power to enact Treaties, is not a clog in the wheel of Executive progress, but a sword in the hand of the Legislature to defend Nigeria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“An urgent engagement by the Legislature and the Executive will create a synergy that will lead to a collaboration between both Arms of Government for proper realisation of the objective of Section 12 of the Constitution,” he said.
The house called on the Registrar of Treaties in the Federal Ministry of Justice to transmit the list of all Ratified and Domesticated Treaties and International Agreements to the National Assembly within three weeks for further legislative action.
The green chambers urged the President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that all signed Treaties are presented to the National Assembly within 30 days for domestication.
The legislators also urged the President Buhari 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 lower chambers urged the president to present all treaties to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill and to stop all counterpart funding of all agreements and Protocols with financial implications until such agreements and Protocols are domesticated by the National Assembly.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the house, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila mandated the Committee on Treaties, Protocol and Agreements to, as a matter of urgency, commence the reviews of all Treaties, Agreements and Protocols signed and ratified by Nigeria.