Senate committee on Constitution amendment yesterday recommended that the release of federal allocation to local governments in the country be hinged on the conduct of elections. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and chairman of committee stated this while presenting the status report of the committee on the floor of the Senate yesterday.
He said Section 7 of the Constitution was amended to strengthen local government administration by providing uniform 3-year tenure for elected local government council officials. “Local governments 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,” he said.
On Federal Capital Territory, the committee amended Sections 256, 299, 300, 301 and 302 of the Constitution to create the Office of an elected Mayor for the FCT with powers to administer the territory as if it were a State of the Federation by exercising all functions presently administered by the minister of the FCT. On nomination of ministers and Commissioners, the committee amended Sections 147 and 192 of the Constitution to ensure that the President and Governors designate and assign portfolios to persons nominated as ministers or commissioners respectively prior to confirmation by the Senate or State House of Assembly. It also makes 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.
In his remark, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said the amendment of the Constitution would be passed by January ending or February.