18 December 2017

Nigeria: Delta Lawmakers Okay Financial Autonomy for State Assemblies

Asaba and Enugu — As part of the process of amending the 1999 Constitution, the Delta State House of Assembly has adopted financial autonomy for state assemblies.

The lawmakers also at the weekend in Asaba, approved 12 of the 15 alterations transmitted to it by the National Assembly.

The Speaker of the House, Sheriff Oborevwori, had upon resumption of plenary announced the receipt of the Fourth Alteration Bill 2017 from the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Mohammed Sani-Lori.

He informed the members that the alteration sought to reach a resolution in sections 2,4,5,6,8,9,14,15,16,20,21, 22,24,27 and 28 of the 1999 Constitution.

According to the letter, both chambers of the National Assembly had passed the bill on July 27, 2017, adding that its transmission to states was in line with section 9, sub-section 2 of the 1999 constitution.

The House unanimously adopted Alteration 2, which seeks to give powers to the president or governor to authorise the withdrawal of money from consolidated funds from six to three months.

Also adopted was Section 4 that provides for the funding of state Houses of Assembly directly from the consolidated account.

Section 8, which deals with immunity for legislators in the course of duty, as well as section 9 that provides sufficient time for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct by-elections was also adopted.

Also included was Section 16 that seeks to disqualify a person who was sworn in as president or governor to complete a term of the elected president or governor, from being elected into the same office for more than one term.

The lawmakers however, deferred further consideration on three alterations, which included Sections 5 that provide fiscal autonomy for local government.

Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has described the Church as one of the pillars in ensuring unity and urged them to continue to pray for the indivisibility of the country.

He spoke yesterday in Warri at the 2017 annual thanksgiving service of the Practical Grace of God Mission with the theme: "Thanking God for the wonders of His Word."

The guest minister, Pastor Godsday Orubebe, in a sermon: "Four pillars of the word of God" urged Christians to serve God diligently in accordance with the Bible, while the host minister eulogized Okowa as a man whose leadership was ordained for the state.

Meanwhile, a coalition of civil societies and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in the southeast, has urged lawmakers from the zone to focus on local government funding and eight other areas that would bring development to the local councils.

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