The National Assembly on Tuesday, granted full financial and administrative autonomy to all the 774 local council authorities across Nigeria by amending section 124 of the nation’s constitution.
The section provides a consequential provision for the making of the local councils, a full third tier government without undue interference from the state governments. The amendment was one of the 22 others approved by the House of Representatives last week and ratified by the Senator on Tuesday.
Both chambers had through a conference committee harmonized versions of the amendments into the constitution carried out by each of the last months. By the development, the National Assembly had ratified all the 23 clauses and sections that had been amended by both chambers.
The newly amended document which would be sent to States Houses of Assembly, for approval, also approved the creation of the office of Auditor General of the Local Government as well as the State Local Government Service Commission.
The section equally deleted the State Independent Electoral Commission [SIEC] from the constitution thereby vesting the powers to conduct council elections on the Independent National Electoral Commission [INEC]. It is, however, retained the immunity clause in the constitution for the President and Governors by adopting the Senate version of the amendments on the issue and rejected the House of Representatives version which removed the immunity clause.
The National Assembly also made provisions for Independent candidacy in future elections in Nigeria by amending sections 65 and 106 of the 1999 constitution…