Nass Grants Full Autonomy To LG’s, Awaits States Assemblies

The National Assembly of Nigeria has recently passed an amendment to Section 124 of the nation’s constitution, granting complete financial and administrative autonomy to all 774 local council authorities. This amendment ensures that the local councils function as a fully independent third tier of government without undue interference from state governments.

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This amendment was one of the 22 others approved by the House of Representatives last week and has now been ratified by the Senate. Both chambers collaborated through a conference committee to harmonize the versions of the amendment into the constitution, which were previously carried out by each chamber individually last month.

With this significant development, the National Assembly has ratified all 23 clauses and sections that were amended by both chambers. The amended document will now be sent to the State Houses of Assembly for their approval. Additionally, the creation of the Office of Auditor General of the Local Government and the State Local Government Service Commission has been approved.

The amendment removed the provision for the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) from the constitution. Consequently, the responsibility for conducting council elections now rests with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The amendment retained the immunity clause for the President and Governors, adopting the Senate version of the amendments. The House of Representatives version, which proposed the removal of the immunity clause, was rejected.

In addition to these changes, the National Assembly has also made provisions for Independent Candidacy in future elections in Nigeria. This was accomplished by amending sections 65 and 106 of the 1999 constitution.

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