President Muhammadu Buhari has assented 16 Constitution Alteration Bills into law.
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and chairman of House Committee on 1999 Constitution Review, Hon. Idris Wase, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Wase commended President Buhari for giving assent to the Bills, which according to him, will devolve more power to States of the Federation. The Bill on financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary was one of the Bills signed into law by the President. Other Bills signed by the President were on the removal of the railway, prison and electricity from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.
Naija News House reports that the National Assembly had in January transmitted 35 constitution amendment Bills to the President for assent. The 35 Bills have been considered by 27 State Houses of Assembly and approved by at least 24 State Assemblies as required by Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The State Assemblies, however, failed to vote on the two Bills that seek financial and legislative autonomy for local government councils.
Hon. Wase noted that four of the Bills will help to address the call for true fiscal federalism in the country.
“Essentially four of the bills deal with devolution of powers/promoting true Federalism. And also strengthening of State Houses of Assembly and Judiciary,” he stated.
The deputy speaker also congratulated members of the 9th National Assembly for working tirelessly to ensure the passage of what he called the legacy legislations.
The highlights of the assented Constitution Alteration Bills, amongst others, are:
• Ensuring financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary;
• Regulating of the first session and inauguration of members-elect of the National and State Houses of Assembly and for related matters;
• Ensuring that the President and Governors submit the names of persons nominated as Ministers or Commissioners within sixty days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or State House of Assembly; and for related matters;
• Enabling states generate, transmit, and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid; and for related matters;
• Excluding the period of intervening events in the computation of time for determining pre-election matters petitions etc;
• Regulating the first session and inauguration of members-elect of National and State Assemblies;
• Changing prisons to correctional service and re-designate correctional service in the concurrent list; and
• Moving item “railway” from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent list.