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BREAKING: Senate Passes Bills On LGA Financial, Administrative Autonomy

Nigeria Senate

March 01, (THEWILL) – The senate on Tuesday passed bills to grant financial and administrative autonomy to local governments areas in the country.

The development followed the presentation and voting on the report of the committee on constitutional review on the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria alteration bills, 2022, voted in favour of both bills.

The bills seek to amend the constitution to repeal the state joint local government account and provide for a special account where all allocations due to the local governments councils, from the federation account and state government shall be paid.

In the bill, each local government council is to create and maintain its own special account to be called Local Government Allocation Account into which all the allocations will be paid.

The legislations also mandate each state to pay to local government councils in its area of jurisdiction such proportion of its internally generated revenue on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly.

For administrative autonomy, the bill seeks to allow local governments to conduct their own elections.

The lawmakers also voted in favour of financial autonomy for State Houses of Assembly and judiciary.

According to the results of the votes, Bill No 1 (22) which is on Local Government financial autonomy, received 92 votes out of 94 registered Senators while Bill No 2 which is on Local Government Administrative Autonomy got 88 votes from senators on favour of its passage.

The lawmakers are voting electronically.

The senate and the house of representatives on Tuesday commenced the voting process on the fifth alteration of the 1999 constitution.

The voting which is ongoing commenced immediately after Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy president of the senate and chairman of the review of the constitution, presented a report on the amendment.

Lawan had earlier announced that only bills that are passed in both chambers of the national assembly will be sent to the state houses of assembly.

“For today’s exercise, we will use electronic voting. We have tested the system and it is working.

“Omo-Agege will present the report. We will listen to his presentation and we can take comments and we will thereafter go into the voting process. I will announce the bill then we will take it as it is presented in the report and senators will each register with our cards.

”It will take us 30 seconds to vote. You will press the button for registration. Then there is registration, ‘Yes, no and abstain’. Voting will take another 30 seconds.

“If you don’t vote within 30 seconds, you have lost your vote. If a bill passes in the senate and the house, such bill would have passed in the national assembly and will be sent to states.

“If a bill passes in the senate but fails to pass in the house, that bill is dead – and vice verse,” the senate president said.