Local govt autonomy Bill resurfaces

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HOUSE of Representatives has again received a Bill to grant autonomy to local government areas across the country.

The Bill had failed to secure constitutional approval during the Eighth National Assembly.

It seeks to amend the Constitution to grant autonomy to the third tier of government. The Bill successfully scaled second reading on the floor of the House and has been forwarded to the Constitution Review Committee.

The House also passed for second reading a Bill that will allow the third tier of government autonomy in the conduct of election for its chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors.

Titled: “A Bill for an act to alter Section 7 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and for related matters,” it was sponsored by Dachung Musa Bagos (PDP, Plateau).

The Eighth Assembly had passed the Autonomy Bill, though it failed to get the mandatory concurrence from two-thirds of Houses of Assembly across the country.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the Bill, Bagos said the intention of the proposed legislation was to instil democracy at the local government level and have a law that will provide guidelines for periodic elections in the local government areas across the country.

He said: “Essentially, this Bill seeks to provide for election and tenure of office for local government chairmen/councillors and prescribes mode of exercising legislative powers of the local government areas.”

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