Constitution Review: Senate submits to govs on refusal of LG autonomy

THE Senate, on Tuesday, submitted to state governors over refusal of autonomy for local government councils as proposed in the 44 constitutional amendment bills forwarded to State Houses of Assembly for concurrence in March 2022.

Out of the 44 constitution alteration bills forwarded to State Houses of Assembly for concurrence, only 35 were voted for by the 24 out of the 36 States Houses of Assembly with complete exclusion of financial and administrative autonomies for local government councils.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the House of Representatives will consider the report on the constitutional amendments transmitted by the State Houses of Assembly during today’s plenary.
The National Assembly had through its joint Special Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review in October 2022, slammed the state governors for preventing the various State Houses of Assembly from concurring with constitution amendments proposals for Financials and Administrative autonomies for the 774 Local Government Areas.

But three months after, the Senate during Tuesday ple- nary, went through the 35 items concurred to, by the State Houses of Assembly and resolved to in collaboration with the House of Representatives, transmit them for assent by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It accordingly resolves to direct the Clerk to the National Assembly to transmit the 35 Bills that have so far met the requirement of the provision of Section 9(2) of the Constitution, to Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation for assent in line with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act.

It also urged the following State Houses of Assembly – Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Zamfara; that are yet to forward their resolution on the bills to do so in fulfilment of their constitution- ally imposed legislative obligation to the constitution amendment process.

Some of the nine bills that failed passage at the State Houses of Assembly were the one that sought abroga- tion of the State Joint Local Government Account and provide for special account into which shall be paid all allocations due to local government councils from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State; and for related matters.
Another failed bill is the one on the establishment of Local Government as a Tier of Government by Guaranteeing their Democratic Existence, Tenure; and for Related Matters.

Also rejected is the one that sought for institutionalisation of Legislative Bureaucracy in the Constitution; and for Related Matters as well as the one that sought for inclusion of Presiding Officers of the National Assembly in the Membership of the National Security Council; and for related matters, etc.

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