The Senate Tuesday expressed concern that most treaties entered between the federal government and other international countries do not have the force of the law.
This development, according to the upper chamber is contrary to the provision of the law stating that “No treaty between the federal government and any country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.”
It, therefore, directed the Federal Ministry of Justice to produce a comprehensive record of all the treaties that were entered into by Nigeria, those that were ratified by the National Assembly, those that are yet to be presented for ratification by the executive and many others that require different forms of action by relevant institutions of government responsible for treaty management in Nigeria.
The upper chamber also urged the executive to submit all bills on all outstanding treaties that require ratification by the National Assembly.
These resolutions followed an adopted motion sponsored by senator Bala Ibn Na’allah, deputy Senate Leader representing Kebbi South senatorial district.
In his lead debate, Na’allah noted that over 250 United Nations treaties, conventions, charters and protocols alone which Nigeria is a party, over 50 of them have not been ratified as others require succession, signature, acceptance or notifications.
More worrisome was even the fact that there seems to be no comprehensive and accurate data on exact number of treaties entered by the country since independence.
Available records further indicated that out of 300 treaties entered, only 61 have been ratified, yet no exact number could be established from relevant institutions of government responsible for treaty management in Nigeria.
Investigation also showed that various MDAs entered into several treaties relying on section 3(2) of the Treaty Making Procedure Act Cap T20 laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 which classified treaties that require ratification by the National Assembly and those that do not.
But the senate said provisions of the Treaty Making Procedure Act was inconsistent with the provisions of section 12 of the constitution which categorically subjects all treaties without any classification to ratification by the National Assembly.