NEWS POLITICS

House wants President, govs to appoint cabinet within 60 days

As part of the recommendations of the Senate Committee on Conditional Review on the 1999 Constitution, local government areas without democratically elected executive will not have a share of the monthly Federal Allocation.

The amendments, if passed into law, will also compel the president or governor to appoint members of his or her cabinet within 60 days after inauguration.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who is the chairman of the committee, made this known while presenting a report on the review at plenary on Thursday.

Under ‘Local Government Administration,’ the report said Section 7 of the Constitution was amended, to provide “a uniform three-year tenure for elected local government council officials; that local government areas without a democratically elected council shall not be entitled to any revenue from the Federation Account.

“These amendments, amongst others, we believe will ensure effective service delivery and insulate local governments from undue and counter-productive interferences from state governments.”

Similarly, under the ‘Distributable Pool Account’ section, the committee amended Section 162 of the Constitution to “abrogate the State Joint Local Government Account and paying monies due to local government councils directly into their respective accounts.”

The Senate also “define the fund of the state government, that is internally generated revenue, from which a portion shall be paid into the Local Government Allocation Account.”

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The amendment to the section of the constitution also “provide for national savings of 50 per cent of oil revenues above the bench mark for a particular year and 10 per cent of any non-oil revenue paid into the Federation Account or such other percentage not less than that provided in this section as the National Assembly may determine in the Appropriation Act of a particular year.”

The lawmakers said any of such savings would be distributed in accordance with the prevailing revenue sharing formula and in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, “provided that the savings shall not be distributed in any period less than 10 years from the date of a particular savings.”

On the ‘Nomination of Ministers and Commissioners,’ Sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution were amended to “ensure that the president and governors designate assign portfolios to persons nominated as ministers or commissioners, respectively, prior to confirmation by the Senate or state House of Assembly; provide a period of 60 days within which such nominations shall be forwarded to the Senate or state House of Assembly following inauguration; and provide 35 per cent representation for women in the appointment of ministers and commissioners.”

In the amendment to Sections 51, 67, 93 and 315, which bordered on the legislature, the Senate recommended creation of the National Assembly Service Commission and the state House of Assembly Service Commission, while it empowered the National Assembly and state House of Assembly, respectively, to provide for the powers and structure of the commissions through subsequent legislations.

The amendment will also “make it mandatory for the President to attend a joint meeting of the National Assembly once a year to deliver a State of the Nation address.”

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