There are indications that the 36 state houses of assembly in the country are bent on being financially autonomous.
Hints of this were dropped in Minna yesterday when the speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Barrister Adamu Usman, received the members of the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), led by its Head of Programmes, Sa’adatu Boswan, in his office.
Usman said that the speakers of the houses of assembly were determined to make financial autonomy for houses of assembly come into being through the ongoing constitutional amendment process, stressing that autonomy for the assemblies would deepen democracy and enhance good governance at the states’ level.
“The fact is that the 36 state houses of assembly are hungry for autonomy. As soon as the National Assembly transmits all the areas of the constitution to be reviewed, I assure you that we shall support autonomy for the state legislative arm. Infact, Niger State supported it during the constitutional review done by the 6th National Assembly. It was one state that opted out the last time. But now, we are all in for it,” he said.
He added that this is one of many areas of the constitution review that the Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly are of the firm belief that it should be looked into and ensure that it is enshrined in the constitution.
The speaker also advised that politicians and political parties should allow the choice of the people to be supreme in the 2015 general elections so that the democratic process would be credible and generally acceptable.
In her comments, the leader of the delegation, Sa’adatu Boswan said that the organization was committed to the realization of a stable democratic practice based on popular choice for a prosperous nation.
“We are here to seek your support for the electoral reform and constitutional review. It is a fact that all reforms and reviews cannot see the light of the day, because the National Assembly will have to transmit its decision to the states for approval by two-thirds majority,” Sa’adatu declared.