Constitutional Amendment Relating to the Railway Transport Sector: A Panacea for Resuscitating the Railway Transport System in Nigeria?

As one of the astounding farewell accomplishments of the erstwhile President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari (the Erstwhile President), the Erstwhile President signed 16 (sixteen) constitution alteration bills into law on March 17, 2023. Principal amongst the alterations is the Fifth Alteration (No.16) Bill to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) (the Constitution) to move the item “railways” from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List and for related matters (Constitutional Amendment).
Prior to the Constitutional Amendment, the regulation of railways was placed within the exclusive purview of the National Assembly by Item 55 of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution. The Constitutional Amendment deletes the word “Railways” from the Exclusive Legislative List and inserts a new paragraph 20A and B into the Concurrent Legislative List which delineates the powers of the Federal and State Governments to make laws for railways and for related matters.

In this newsletter, we consider the Constitutional Amendment from a legal perspective, unpacking the commercial opportunities and challenges that arise therefrom, and legal mechanisms to achieve the objective of the Constitutional Amendment.


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