Constitution Amendment: NASS approves financial autonomy for State Legislatures, Judiciary, LGs

Rejects FG’s grip on VAT, pension for NASS presiding officers, and other matters

The Senate and House of Representatives have approved financial autonomy for State legislatures, Judiciary and local governments in the country, in the ongoing voting on Nigeria’s Constitution amendments.

The approval came yesterday, during voting on the report of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bills, 2022.

The senators, during voting on the report, rejected pension for presiding officers of the legislature. Out of a total number of 88 Senators registered to vote on the Bill, 34 voted in support and 53 against.

Also rejected were Bills to override Presidential veto in Constitution Alteration, and to override Presidential veto in respect of ordinary money Bills. The rejected Bills require the mandatory four-fifth (votes of 88 Senators) and a two-thirds majority (votes of 73 Senators) to pass, respectively.

In addition, the Senate also rejected Bills to provide for the Removal of Presiding Officers of the Legislature; and to change the name of Barikin-Ladi LGA, in Plateau State to “Gwol” LGA.

In the House of Representatives, 290 members, surpassing 240, the two-third majority of the House voted in support of the Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the constitution to abrogate the State’s joint local government account and provide for a special account into which shall be paid all allocations due to LG Councils from the Federation Account and the State governments.

Also, 258 members voted in support of the bill for an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution to establish Local Government as a tier of government and guarantee their democratic existence, tenure.

Furthermore, 296 members voted in favour of a bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution to provide for the financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary.

In the same vein, the majority of the House members approved the Bills for “Acts to alter the provisions of the Constitution to change the names of Afikpo-North and Afikpo-South LGAs; Kunchi LGA; Egbado-North and Egbado-South LGAs; Barikin Ladi LGA; Atigbo LGA; Obia/Akpor LGA.

The House, however, rejected the Bill for “an Act to alter Part I of the Second Schedule to the Constitution to include Value-Added Tax (VAT) on the Exclusive Legislative List”, as 209 members voted against, while only 91 voted in support.

Also, the Bill for “an Act to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution to provide for special seats for women in the National and State Houses of Assembly was rejected, with 208 members voting against the amendment and only 81 supporting.

The House further unanimously turned down the Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution to provide pension for Presiding Officers of the National Assembly.

It voted in support of a Bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution “to move airports from Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List; and for Related Matters.

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