Constitution amendment: Delta Assembly defers provision on LG fiscal autonomy

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Lawmakers at the Delta State House of Assembly have deferred voting on the provision on local government fiscal autonomy in the on going constitution amendment.

They also deferred to vote on two other alterations including Section 6 which seeks to strengthen local government administration in Nigeria and Section 22 which deals with the establishment and function of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the need to include it in the exclusive list.

The lawmakers said they decided to defer voting on the three sections in order to allow for more time and  information on the subjects before coming up with resolutions on them.

The House restated the need to strengthen local government administration in Nigeria, and called for more caution in taking decisions on matter.

It also noted that the agitation for State Policing made it to defer the resolution on the establishment of Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and placing it in the exclusive list to allow for more consultations.

However, the House, at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori adopted 12 of the 15 alterations transmitted to it by the National Assembly.

They unanimously gave nod to financial autonomy for States Houses of Assembly as well as adopted the immunity clause for legislators in respect to words spoken or written during plenary or committee sittings.

Other alterations unanimously adopted include the provision which seeks to give powers to the President or Governor to authorize the withdrawal of money from consolidated funds from six months to three months, and Section 4 that provides for the funding of State Houses of Assembly directly from the consolidated account.

Section eight which deals with immunity for legislators in the course of duty, Section nine that provides the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sufficient time to conduct by- elections and to provide grounds for the registration of political parties as well as Section 14 which provides for independent candidature in elections were also adopted.

The Lawmakers also voted in favor of alteration 15 which seeks to change the name, “Nigerian Police Force to Nigeria Police to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services, 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 and Section 20 which seeks to strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice and other related matters.

Section 21 that provides time for determination of pre-election matters and Section 24 which centered on the procedure for passing the constitution alteration bill where the President withhold assent, as well as Section 27 that reduces the age for qualification for office of President, membership of the House of Representative and State Houses of Assembly and Section 28 that specifies the period within which the president or governor presents the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or State Houses of Assembly, were also affirmed by the House during the voting process.

The Speaker, Sheriff Oborevwori commended members for their diligence and commitment to duties, stating that the Delta State House of Assembly had again made history as one of the first Houses of Assembly to go this far in the process of the constitution amendment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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