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JUST IN: NASS grants Local Govt. full autonomy, turns down life pension for officers

By News desk

The Senate and House of Representatives have approved the bill seeking to grant Local Governments both administrative and financial autonomy, recognizing the councils as the third tier of government and guaranteeing their existence as well as tenure for the elective officials.

Meanwhile, the bill seeking to provide life pensions for National Assembly pressing officers and the state house of assembly has failed to scale the second reading at the House of Representatives after the lawmakers voted against the move.

The lawmakers approved the autonomy for councils on Tuesday during plenary held to amend provisions in the 1999 constitution, in a bid to conform with the reality across the country.

They approved the autonomy when voting was done on 68 Constitution Amendment bills at their plenary and it was done electronically.

At the House of Representatives, the bill to create a special account through which funds for local governments would be paid directly from the Federation Account had 257 votes while nine lawmakers kicked against the move.

For the local government autonomy, 258 members of the House of representatives threw their support behind the move while 15 voted against it.

In the Senate Chamber, Local government financial autonomy had 92 votes against the two senators that oppose the idea before the house.

Also in the Senate Chamber, the bill on local government autonomy had 258 voting for the move and 15 others asked the senate to abandon the move.

On the life pension, 162 members voted for the House of Representatives provision while 193 voted against the idea as against the three others that abstained from the exercise.

And following the inability of the votes for the move to meet the required two-thirds or 240 of the 360 members of the House, the Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila, threw the bill out.

If the bill had gotten the desired votes, the beneficiaries would have included the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Deputy President of the Senate, and the Deputy Speaker of the House.

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