The lawmaker representing Edo South, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, has alleged that some state governors are blocking the passage of the constitutional amendment bills because it will give total independence to local governments.
Urhoghide, who spoke to The PUNCH on Sunday, said there are three arms of government; executive, legislature and judiciary, which are independent of one another, and the same should play out when it comes to the tiers; federal, state and local governments.
The Edo lawmaker said, “If the arms have autonomy, the tiers should have too. Local government administration should not be subjected to the control of the state government. “Our local government administration should not be subjected to the state governments’ whims and caprices or control.”
He added, “The Federal Government does not have control over the state governors’ allocations; they do what they want. The commissioner does not allow lawmakers to stop their funds. So also, the state should give autonomy to local governments, both in financial transactions and in administration; they should be independent.
“Those are some of the things enshrined in the amendment to give total autonomy in administration and financial transactions to the local government. And we separated the accounts because they currently run a joint account. That’s what gives them pure autonomy.”
He also noted that the governors have even given the lawmakers condition that the state police bill must be passed before the state assembly passes the clauses in the constitutional amendment bill.
The National Assembly had on March 1, 2022, voted on the 68 amendments recommended by the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. Less than 10 states have passed the constitutional amendment bill.