Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Friday says the President of Nigeria is not “all-powerful” as widely believed.
The former Lagos Governor spoke on Friday at the Yoruba Tennis Club Landmark public lecture in Lagos.
Fashola said it was better to work with the 1999 Constitution than to hold on to the belief that the country has an extremely powerful leader.
“Very often, I hear a general statement that the president of Nigeria is very powerful. Some people say he is more powerful than the president of the United States of America.
I want to say that there is always a flip side to the powers of the president”, NAN quoted him as saying.
The minister said though the office of the President is referred to 48 times in the Constitution, some people conflicted powers with function.
He explained that the constitution refers to the powers of the President in 23 instances, but nine are exercisable subject to National Assembly’s approval.
“Four of the instances referred to the power exercisable subject to other institutions also set up by the Constitution.”
The minister added that the many other restrictions on the powers and “street talks“ about the powers of office of the Vice-President were also false.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) urged citizens to get a copy of the 1999 Constitution and read for acquaintance.
“Read one page or two pages a day. Perhaps it will help us understand why things are where they are and what can be done,” Fashola advised.