Constitution Amendment: LG Autonomy Will Pass, Says Rep

ABUJA, August 11, (THEWILL) – In spite of the opposition from some quarters to the proposed autonomy for local government councils in the federation, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Emmanuel Jime, has assured that the clause will be included in the amended constitution, as both chambers of National Assembly will harmonise and adopt the provision.

The representative, who represents Makurdi/Guma federal constituency of Benue state, also appealed to state Assemblies, the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and other trade unions opposed to the idea to have a rethink as autonomy for the council will attract the needed development at the grassroots.

THEWILL recalls that the Senate had voted against autonomy for local governments, while the House voted overwhelmingly in its favour.

If approved, local governments will become autonomous and free from the control of state governments.

Jime, who spoke to journalists over the weekend, said though the senate voted against the provision, the two chambers will “certainly be on the same page on resumption in September.”

“To my mind, and I think I can say with all sense of responsibility that the senate would harmonise with the House on the issue of local government autonomy”.

He appealed to persons and bodies opposed to the idea of financial and administrative freedom for the third tier of government to rethink their position.

Jime also warned against granting presidential pardon to persons convicted on corruption charges.

As sponsor of a bill that seeks to amend the constitution to deny ex-convicts in that category pardon, he said granting them such state leniency, would encourage and worsen corruption in the country.

He opined that to guarantee free education and other rights to Nigerians, chapter two of the 1999 constitution must be reviewed to give Nigerians the leeway to sue government or hold it accountable to the people.