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27 State Assemblies reject bills on local governments autonomy

By News Desk

No fewer than 27 State Houses of Assemblies (SHA) have rejected two bills that seek to amend the 1999 constitution toward giving financial and legislative autonomy to local governments across the country.

The two bills were among the 44 Constitution amendment bills sent by the Senate to the State Houses of Assemblies for their input before passing the bills to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers at the State Assemblies have forwarded their resolutions on 35 other constitutional amendment bills to the National Assembly for onward transmission to the president for approval.

These states were Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, and Edo States.

Others were Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Rivers and Yobe States.

However, nine other states were yet to forward their resolutions on these bills and they include Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara assemblies.

Decisions of the House of Assemblies were disclosed by the lawmaker representing Ekiti, Opeyemi Bamidele, who presented the report on the ongoing constitution amendment on floor of the Senate on Tuesday.

The lawmakers, meanwhile, have directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to transmit the 35 bills that have so far met the requirement of the provision of Section 9(2) of the Constitution to the president for assent.

The resolution to transmit the 35 bills followed the deliberation on a motion sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo- Agege, and 66 other senators.

The 35 bills, he said, have satisfied the provisions of Section 9(2) of the Constitution, for passage into law, having been approved by not less than 24 SHAs.

Before this development, the National Assembly had passed the 44 Constitutional Amendment bills in March 2022 and by October of the same year, Omo-Agege, who chairs the Constitution Review committee, complained that only 11 SHAs considered and voted on the bills.

He said 25 other states had threatened to take no action on the bills unless four more constitution amendment bills are considered and passed by the National Assembly.

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