Conference of speakers seeks financial autonomy for state assemblies

THE Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria, at the end of its 2014 retreat, sought for financial autonomy for state Houses of Assembly in the country.

This is contained in a communique issued in Uyo on Sunday and signed by Mr Eugene Odo, Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly and chairman, Committee on communique.

According to the communique, the autonomy will enable assemblies to be effective and efficient in the discharge of their legislative duties.

“The importance of financial autonomy for the state houses of assembly for the effective and efficient discharge of their legislative duties was brought to the fore.

“And the state lawmakers reiterated their commitments towards ensuring the passage of the clauses as related to the autonomy of state legislature in the ongoing constitution amendment,” it stated.

The conference called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the ongoing process of constitution amendment and transmit same to state assemblies for further legislative actions.

It also appealed to state lawmakers to ensure stability in the polity and entrenchment of democracy by avoiding frequent and unconstitutional change of leadership of the assemblies.

It sought for an amendment in the Electoral Act and promulgation of high impact legislation to ensure stability in the country.

The conference advised state lawmakers and the members of national assembly to engage in the legislative practice of lobbying with caution with a view to avoiding corrupt tendencies.

The conference affirmed its support for President Goodluck Jonathan in the fight against terrorism and urged Nigerians to unite and restore peace in the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the retreat was attended by speakers from the 36 houses of assembly with its theme: “Legislature as an instrument of stability in democratic governance.”

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