The National Assembly has granted financial and administrative autonomy to the 744 local governments across Nigeria.
Both chambers of the National Assembly voted in favour of local government administrative autonomy as the third tier of government and their democratic existence and tenure while voting on the constitution amendment.
Persecondnews.com reports that the lawmakers voted on 68 Constitution Amendment bills at the plenary on Tuesday.
In the House of Representatives, 257 members of the house voted in favour of the bill to create a special account through which funds for local governments will be paid directly from the Federation, while nine members voted against it.
For the local government autonomy, 258 members of the House of Representatives voted in favour of the bill while 15 voted ‘NO’.
Meanwhile In the Senate Chamber, the local government financial autonomy had the support of 92 Senators with only two voting against.
Also, local government autonomy in the Red Chamber had 258 ‘YES’ votes and 15 ‘NO’ votes, while Local Government administrative autonomy had 88 ‘YES’ votes and four ‘NO’ votes.
Among other bills passed by the Senate include a bill to empower the National Assembly and State Assemblies to summon the President and State Governors to answer questions bordering on security or any other issues on which the National and State Houses of Assembly have powers to make laws.
The bill seeks alteration to Section 67 of the Principal Act by inserting after subsection (3), a new subsection (4), which provides: “Nothing in this section shall preclude the National Assembly from summoning the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to attend a joint session of the National Assembly to answer questions on national security or any issue whatsoever, over which the National Assembly has powers to make laws”.
The bill further seeks to alter Section 108 of the Principal Act to insert a new subsection (4) to provide: “Nothing in this section shall preclude the House of Assembly of the State from summoning the Governor of the State to attend a sitting of the House of Assembly to answer questions on security or on any issue whatsoever, over which the House of Assembly has powers to male laws.”
No fewer than 77 Senators voted in favour of the bill to summon the President and Governors, 13 against with 1 lawmaker abstaining.
However, the lawmakers voted against a bill seeking to provide ‘special seats for women’ in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly.
In the Senate, 58 out of 91 Senators voted against the bill, while in the House of Representatives 208 out of 290 members voted against it.
Persecondnews recalls that the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, had last week visited both chambers to lobby the lawmakers to support the women bill.
By Ajuma Edwina Ameh