Speakers of the 36 state legislatures have held their first quarterly meeting in Bauchi, restating their resolve for financial autonomy.
After a technical session on financial management and other topical issues, they resolved “that all the State Houses of Assembly should ensure to pass the Funds Management Bill in their respective states for effective implementation of the financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary.”
The communiqué, signed by their chairman, Abubakar Suleiman, saw the Speakers setting up a “Constitutional Review Committee. The terms of reference of the committee include articulating and submission of the inputs of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria in the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In his remarks, the host Governor Bala Mohammed charged the group to be prepared for the challenges that come with financial independence when the delegation visited him ahead of their meeting on Friday night.
He said: “As for me, I support your struggle to get financial autonomy. We must build our democracy. That’s why I support the (Executive) Order 10 granting your autonomy. But I urge you too to look at the other side of the coin because it is coming with a lot of challenges.”
In the same vein, Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, yesterday, reiterated the need for the implementation of the executive order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.
Okechukwu, who was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Constitution Drafting Committee, wondered why those clamouring for restructuring were yet to agitate for the implementation of the directive geared at strengthening democratic rule in the country.