…Want states to run prisons
By Tordue Salem
The House of Representatives Tuesday passed for second reading, a Bill to allow state governors determine how much they will pay their workers.
The issue of remuneration is at the moment of the concurrent list(duties shared by federal and states) in the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Besides, the House, also passed another legislation to hands off the federal government from the administration of correctional centers in the country.
The two bills, after a thorough debate, were referred to the ad hoc committee of the House on the review of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
The bill seeking to remove establishment correctional centres from the exclusive list aims to empower the states to establish and manage correctional centres in their various states, so as to reduce the menace and prisons congestion.
Chairman of the House Committee of Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Benjamin Kalu who sponsored the bill, argued that the growing population of inmates in correctional facilities across the nation and resultant over-stretching of the facilities had made it impossible to reform the inmates and as such, most inmates return to the society unreformed.
He also said that Section 12(8) of the Nigerian Correctional Act empowers the state controllers of correctional service to reject inmates where it is apparent that the operational centre is filled to capacity, noting that inmates will soon be rejected if the bill is not passed.
Although, the bill was stiffly opposed by some lawmakers, it was eventually passed for a second reading.
In the same vein, the bill seeking you transfer the subject matter of minimum wage from the exclusive list to the concurrent list, sponsored by Rep. Garba Dattj Muhammed(APC-Kaduna), was passed after a long debate.
Muhammed while leading the debate, said the proposed legislation “would allow individual states negotiate remuneration with its staff according to its workforce and resources”.
But the deputy speaker of the House, Ahmed Idris Wase, who doubles as the chairman of the House Committee on Constitution Review, urged his colleagues to oppose the bill.
Despite, the opposition however, the Bill was approved for third reading in the end, and referred to the Constitution Review Committee.