Sagay: Most Bills On Constitution Amendment Irrelevant To Nigeria’s Immediate Needs

Sagay: Most Bills On Constitution Amendment Irrelevant To Nigeria’s Immediate Needs
Prof. itse Sagay

Itse Sagay, chairman of the presidential advisory committee against corruption (PACAC), has expressed that most of the items proposed by the national assembly as amendments to the 1999 constitution are “totally irrelevant” to the country’s immediate needs.

On Tuesday, the national assembly commenced voting process on the alteration to some sections of the 1999 constitution.

At the plenary, the national assembly voted on the bills seeking to give special seats to women as lawmakers, financial autonomy for LGAs, immunity for senate president and speaker, diaspora voting, among others.

The national assembly voted on 68 bills at Tuesday’s plenary.

Speaking on the development on Tuesday, Sagay, in an interview on Channels Television, stated that the lawmakers should have address the question of restructuring.

“I have gone through most of the items which the national assembly has taken up and unfortunately, it has conformed with what I have felt about their modifications of the constitution,” he said.

“They are totally irrelevant to our needs at the moment. What is necessary and what is causing a lot of problems in the country is the question of restructuring — the question of having a true federalism. They have not touched that at all.

“If I may give an example of what I’m talking about, we should be talking of funding formula for the federation. There should be no federation account.

“We should retain the provisions of the 1963 constitution under which regions, now states, retained 50 percent of its resources, sent 20 percent to the federal government, and sent 30 percent to a distributable pool — to be distributed among the states of the federation in accordance with your level of sufficiency in terms of provisions.

Also Read: Each State Should Control Its Resources, Says Akinwumi Adesina On Restructuring

“Under the distributable pool, the least able state — the poorest state — gets more from that pool. Every state, even the rich ones, also gets some. Under that formula, 50 for the state, 20 for the federal government, 30 to the distributable pool.

“Under the distributable pool, the least able state — the poorest state — gets more from that pool. Every state, even the rich ones, also gets some. Under that formula, 50 for the state, 20 for the federal government, 30 to the distributable pool.

‘I noticed that a lot of attention was spent on issues that are totally irrelevant with regards to the local government. We should not be talking about local government in the constitution.

“What they should discuss is total removal of the provisions of the local government from the constitution. The constitution shouldn’t tell us what we should do about our local governments. It should not contain a list of our local governments.

“Local government is a state matter. 100 percent, it is a state matter. It has nothing to do with the federal government.

“When you talk about funding of local governments — how to create a special account for LG separate from the state governments — they are irrelevant; it shouldn’t be in the constitution at all.”

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