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Compel Govs to implement autonomy law, Assembly Speakers beg Buhari

…Call for review of Exclusive List items

Buhari, Speakers
President Muhammadu Buhari

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja

Speakers of the 36 Houses of Assembly on Thursday pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to compel State Governors to implement the financial autonomy law for the judiciary and legislature.

The Speakers also called for the review of items in the Exclusive List to give states more economic power.

Briefing State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja, Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, said one of the issues discussed with the President was the appeal to issue an executive order on the implementation of full autonomy for state legislatures.

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Obasa, who is the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly said though the amended 1999 Constitution had incorporated the independence and financial autonomy for state legislatures, it was not being implemented in many states.

According to him, a presidential intervention by way of an executive order would fast-track the implementation across the Federation.

He said, “So, we are urging Mr President to intervene and speed up the implementation. We urged the President to come in by executive order for this implementation to move faster.”

He said that they discussed the issue of dilapidated infrastructure like bad roads, challenges in education, health and security, adding that if the devolution of power is carried out some items would be removed from the Exclusive to the Concurrent list.

He also said that the issue of allowing states to have their own security so as to tackle the security challenges was discussed. Asked why the Speakers would complain over autonomy when there is law in place, he said that they were not complaining against the governors but that the implementation has not been done in all the states.

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He said that some governors have started the implementation and that the Speakers were in discussions with them.

The Speakers of Edo, Bayelsa and Oyo States Houses of Assembly were absent at the meeting.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, were also in attendance.

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