As more Nigerians continue calls for membership of the National Assembly – the Senate and House of Representatives – to be made part-time due to the huge cost of running the two chambers, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has said such move would require a constitutional amendment.
The Vice President, who was responding to comments from members during the 90th Anniversary of the Yoruba Tennis Club in Lagos yesterday, stressed that such change would “go through the National Assembly”, thereby making it the prerogative of the lawmakers to either adopt it or not.
On the call for the autonomy of Federal Universities, Osinbajo said that would only be feasible if the institutions could finance themselves in all aspects.
“But as long as the government continues doing that, attainment of complete autonomy would be difficult,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice President, who was the guest speaker at the event, delivered a lecture titled: Revitalizing the Nigerian Economy: The Challenges and the Opportunities, in which he stated: “We have been talking about diversification for about 40 years, but we have not been able to achieve this due to lack of discipline,” stressing that the call only intensifies whenever there is crises in the oil sector.
Osinbajo who said that Nigeria is facing the “most challenging period” economically, which has plunged the country into a recession, said the government was doing its best to revive the economy with one of the ways being “Social Housing Initiative” which would be launched by the end of the year.
He stressed that the idea was not just for job creation, but to also create an avenue where young Nigerians could own houses.
Also at the occasion, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, tasked the government on the facilities at the Nigeria Police Academy, which he said were in a bad shape, stressing that with 10,000 Nigerians set to be employed by the Force, the facilities in the academies need to be up- graded.
“You cannot train decent police officers in the kind of facilities we have in the Police Schools,” he declared.
In his welcome address, the club’s Chairman, Ayodele Martins said, “though the name of the club bears ‘Yoruba’, membership has always been extended to non-Yoruba friends who believe in its aims and objectives and are genuinely interested in becoming a part of it.
“We continue to have non-Yoruba members who use the club regularly and have contributed in no small measure to its growth.”
He also noted that the club, which was founded on September 15, 1926, was a child of necessity conceived to accommodate Nigerians when non-Europeans were denied entry into the then European Tennis Club, now known as Lagos Lawn Tennis Club.