Devolution of Powers: Senate Favours Exclusive List, Hits State Government Hard

Again, there is no respite for state government as the senate favours the exclusive legislative list in the amendment of the 1999 constitution.

Out of the 32 bills presented at the plenary yesterday, four bills that were supposed to strengthen the powers of the state were rejected by the senate.

When the proposals for devolution of powers was moved, 48 senators voted against it while 46 voted for it.

The bill specifically sought to devolve the powers to handle railways, collect stamp duties, regulation of electricity, tertiary health institutions to the states.

The senate also voted against the removal of Land Use Act from the Excusive Legislative list but ensured that the powers remain with the Federal Government.

Another blow dealt with the state is the removal of the local government from the state/local government joint account.

This is to make local government autonomous and gives them the power to derive money from the consolidated account directly without necessarily waiting for the state government.

The senate also empowers the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct Local Government election instead of the state Independent Electoral Commission.

However, the Pan Yoruba Sociopolitical group, Afenifere had described most of the amendments done by the senate as efforts in futility.

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