Posted by / Tuesday 6 December 2016 / No comments

The features of Nigeria's 1954 Lyttleton Constitution

The Lyttleton constitution emerged out of constitutional conferences held in Lagos and London to discuss improvements on the earlier Macpherson constitution that preceded the Lyttleton constitution. These constitutional conferences eventually gave birth to the Lyttleton constitution.

Introduction of the federal system
One of the features of the Lyttleton constitution was the fact that the federal system of government was introduced. This was a clear indication that the country, Nigeria was going to become a federal country. Under the new constitution, power was to be shared between the regional units and the federal government.

Council of Ministers
The constitution further made provision for a Council of Ministers. The Council was made up of 12 Ministers, three of whom were appointed by the Governor-General from each of the three regions making up the federation. The Governor-General himself was the president of the Council Ministers. The main duty of the Council was to formulate policies and initiate bills to be introduced in the House of Representatives.

House of Representatives
The constitution made provision for a House of Representatives. The difference between this new constitution and the previous one was that this one had a room for a Speaker of the House who presided over deliberations instead of the Governor in the previous one. There were three ex-official members, 42 members from both the North and the East and the 92 from the Western regions.

Position of prime Ministers
The constitution also created the position of a Prime Minister for each the three regions. This was the first time this had happened. One of the functions of the Premiers was to advise the Governor.

Creation of a federal capital
The constitution made provision for the creation of a federal capital called Lagos. This new federal capital was created when a piece was taken off the Western Region and declared the federal capital territory.

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