Conference of speakers makes case for financial autonomy for state assemblies

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Rt. Honourable Abubakar Y. Suleiman

By Ude Israel

The speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly and Chairman, conference of Speakers, Rt. Honourable Abubakar Y. Suleiman has harped the need to grant financial autonomy to State Assemblies across the Federation.

Suleiman made the case in an exclusive interview with our correspondent recently in Bauchi.

He argued that apart from deepening democracy, financial autonomy is laden with other benefits,

“Financial autonomy will help in in dependent, you know Legislatures are supposed to be checkmating the Executive arm and without indepence, it cannot be possible.

“But, if you have that indepent, we will be able to checkmate the Executive to ensure that what we appropriate is what they are spending, and not just spending it, but spending it according to the appropriation law”.

The Speaker pointed out that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 131(2) already granted the Legislature and Judiciary financial autonomy.

He argued further that Governors Who are meant to implement it at the state levels, usually claim that they are not against the autonomy but against issuance of Executive Order No. 10.

“The insinuation is that Governors are not in support of financial autonomy, but when we come face to face with them, we are meant to understand that they are not against financial autonomy,

“What they are against is issuance of Executive order No.10 which they say is like indictment on them”, he said.

The Executive order No. 10 is issued by the President, compelling State Governors to grant financial autonomy to the Legislature at State levels.

Suleiman submitted further, that the National Legislature has been granted the autonomy and they had set up a committed at State levels to study the modalities taken to fast track the implementation.

He expressed optimism that if things work as planned, they will have the autonomy from April after finalising on its implementation in March.

Meanwhile, Suleiman revealed that he will be hosting the 36 Speakers of the Federation in Bauchi from Friday this week where they will deliberate among others the insecurity issues bedeviling the nation currently.

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