The Nigerian Senate has stated that it is considering a proposed bill that would allow Nigerian nationals living in other countries to participate in the country’s general elections.
This was disclosed by Senate Leader Opeyemi Bamidele (APC-Ekiti) on Monday in a virtual discussion held by Engage Diaspora Foundation in collaboration with the Directorate of Diaspora and International Affairs of his office.
The dialogue was themed: “A Pivotal Step Toward Achieving Diaspora Voting Right” according to Peoples Gazette.
The lawmaker revealed that the bill was already on the floor of the Senate, “and exactly two Tuesdays ago, we had a first reading of the Diaspora Voting Bill.
The lawmaker said, “It passed the first reading and was scheduled for the second. Definitely, I can assure you, as the leader of the Senate, we will be considering the second reading of the bill during this week.”
Recall that the 9th Senate had, in March 2022, rejected the bill on diaspora voting.
The bill sought to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow Nigerians outside the country to participate in the electoral voting.
In his presentation, Bamidele, the chief host at the event, assured Nigerians in the diaspora that the 10th Senate would put in more effort to pass the bill this time.
He said, “We will do our best to make sure that this time around, we achieve your desire in this regard.”
There are millions of Nigerians living abroad. These are the top ten countries with Nigerian population. At the top is the USA (380,785), followed by the UK (190,000), Germany (56,000), Italy (71,000), Canada (51,800), France (30,000), South Africa (30,000), Ireland (17,542), China (10,000) and the Netherlands (9,453).