State legislatures now financially independent, says Conference of Speakers chairman

By Solomon Odeniyi

The Chairman Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, Abubakar Suleiman, has declared that state houses of assembly in Nigeria have become financially autonomous.

He disclosed that the country’s constitution had been successfully amended to provide financial autonomy for state houses of assembly.

Suleiman who is also the speaker of the Bauchi state assembly added that entrenched in the amendment are the modalities for the implementation of the autonomy.

He spoke during the induction for state house speakers in Abuja on Thursday.

He expressed confidence that autonomy would bolster legislative institutions at the state level and ultimately ensure sound governance.

Suleiman said, “Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies, and gentlemen, the journey has been a long one; the efforts have been worthwhile, and we are glad to report that, with the support of relevant stakeholders and partners and others that are not mentioned here, we have effectively amended the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide not only for financial autonomy for the state legislature but also for its implementation adequately. This, without doubt, will strengthen legislative institutions at the state level and ultimately ensure effective governance in our country.”

In his goodwill message, the Development Director, the United Kingdom High Commission, Dr. Chris Pycroft, said the executive arm of government in the state must be held accountable to help citizens enjoy efficient governance.

He said, “The state legislators are a vital link between the state and its citizens. They have a crucial role to play in delivering good governance to the people. They must continue to play their roles effectively by holding the executive to account.”

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