President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to sign the Not Too Young To Run Bill in the coming days.
Buhari made this promise on Tuesday during a nationwide broadcast in commemoration of the nation’s Democracy Day.
“In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the ‘Not too young to run’ bill,” he said.
In July of 2017, almost one year ago, the National Assembly passed the bill, but it was only sent to the President for assent in April — two months after 24 of the 36 state houses of assembly endorsed it.
According to the Not To Young To Run Bill, the minimum age to contest for the seat of the President shall be reduced to 35 years, while governorship and state lawmakers was reduced to 30 and 25 years respectively.
The President called for fairness, justice and peace as the 2019 general election draws closer.
“The upcoming months will usher us into another season of general elections,” he said, “Let me use this opportunity to urge us all to conduct ourselves, our wards and our constituencies with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence such that we will have not only hitch-free elections but also a credible and violence-free process.
“The second primary objective of this administration is to fight corruption headlong. Like I have always said, if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will destroy the country. Three years into this administration, Nigerians and the international community have begun to applaud our policies and determination to fight corruption. We are more than ever before determined to win this war, however hard the road is. I, therefore, appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support us in this fight.
“Various policy measures already put in place to stem the tide of corrupt practices are yielding remarkable results. Some of these key reform policies include: Treasury Single Account, which has realised billions of naira being saved from the maintenance fee payable to banks. N200bn has also been saved from the elimination of ghost workers in public service.
“The Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, set up with a mandate to validate controls, assess risks, prune personnel costs and ensure compliance with Public Financial Management reforms, has helped to identify and remove over 52,000 ghost workers from the Federal Government’s MDAs Payroll.
“The Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme aimed at expanding tax education and awareness has offered the opportunity for tax defaulters to regularise their status in order to enjoy the amnesty of forgiveness on overdue interest, penalties and the assurance of non-prosecution or subject to tax investigations.
“We have retained the services of one of the world’s leading assets tracing firms to investigate and trace assets globally. This is in addition to the exploitation of provisions of existing treaties, conventions as well as bilateral agreements with multilateral bodies and nations. Nigeria has also signed Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements to ensure that there is no hiding place for fugitives.”
Buhari also revealed that his administration had been able to block leakages in government, which has led to the improvement in the nation’s foreign reserves from $29.6bn in 2015 to $47.5bn as of May 2018.
He listed the achievement of his government in the last three years and promised not to relent in delivering the “change” he promised.
“Today marks the 19th year of our nascent democracy and the 3rd Anniversary of this administration. I am thankful to Almighty God for bringing us thus far,” he said. “This administration came at a time that Nigerians needed change, the change we promised and the change we continue to deliver.”