State Assemblies yet to consider bill on LG autonomy – NULGE

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has said the local government autonomy has not been rejected by the State House of Assemblies in the on-going constitution amendment process.
Rather, the union said the bill on local government autonomy is still under consideration by 26 state legislatures across the country, as only 10 have so far considered the bill and passed it to the Chairman of Conference of Speakers of State House of Assemblies for transmission to the National Assembly.
President of NULGE, Comrade Ibrahim Khaleel, made the clarification to dispel the speculation going on that the state assemblies might have rejected local government autonomy, based on the transmission of some bills that had already been considered by the state to the National Assembly on Thursday.
He explained that the National Assembly sent 15 different bills to the state legislatures, out of which local government autonomy bill, is one of them.
Among the 10 states that considered it, eight states: Kwara, Benue, Niger, Plateau, Bauchi, Cross River, Bayelsa and Ogun states voted for local government autonomy while only two states: Edo and Imo, rejected it.
Khaleel, who said he had sought clarification from the Chairman, Conference of Speakers and senior officials of the National Assembly, pointed out that Rivers and Lagos states have not even worked on the Bill, while the remaining 24, who joined the other 10 states to transmit it to the National Assembly, said they have stepped the bill down for further consultation.
He said the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, cannot be blamed for the speculation arising from his statement, because of the complexity of the ongoing constitution amendment process.
Comrade Khaleed stated that the conference of speakers decided to transmit to the National Assembly, those bills that had already been considered by various states houses, rather than wait till all the states completed works on all the 15 bills.
Even though, this, according to him brings confusion, he stated that the intention of the Conference of Speakers was not to waste time on the exercise.
He pointed out that the Speaker of the House of Representatives perhaps thought that local government autonomy has been rejected, because he was not properly briefed before making his statement.
“This important observation is necessary so that it would not give wrong signal to the remaining 24 states who are still working on the Local Government Autonomy Bill, to perhaps think that since the bill has been rejected, there is no need to debate and vote in its favour again,” the NULGE boss added.
Comrade Khaleel commended the National Assembly and the eight states that voted in favour of local government freedom, and believed the other states will see the good in it and vote in its favour.

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