The House of Reps has urged in the recent review of the constitution, that Local Governments should be made a tier of government with a uniform tenure, calling for more autonomy at that level, and more women’s participation in governance.
This was disclosed by Mrs Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Deputy Chief Whip, House of Representatives, on Tuesday, at Day 2 of the South-West Zonal Public Hearing on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.
Local government autonomy
Onyejeocha said that Nigeria was yet to achieve the desired gain of citizens’ involvement in local governance.
“To address this, members of the public, through their memos, as well as many of our colleagues in the House through members bills, have proposed to grant full financial, autonomy to local government councils.
This is including administrative, executive, and legislative autonomy.
They have also proposed that Local Government should be made a tier of government with a uniform tenure.
They also proposed that any Local Government Council that does not have democratically elected officials should be denied allocation from the Federation Account and other benefits from the State Government,” she said.
She added that the 8th Assembly had amended section 7 of the constitution, granting local government autonomy, but the move failed at the state level; and she urged for more attention to it.
On women inclusion
“Women’s political participation is an issue that is of interest to Nigerian women and civil society groups and I believe we can do better,” she said.
“The Speaker, my humble self, and over 100 House Members have proposed a bill to adopt a temporary measure to create special seats for women in the National Assembly and State Assemblies.
“We look forward to support and submissions on this issue as well as on other issues affecting women, young people, children, and the vulnerable groups,” she added.
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Nairametrics reported that Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, had stated that the recent constitutional review process by the National Assembly was a “waste of time,” adding that fundamental changes were needed in Nigeria, including the power of states to enforce laws.
Chima Nnaji, a legal practitioner and political commentator, also told Nairametrics that the review process might as well be nothing but a mere tactic to buy time for the administration.