By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria’s Senate has passed the Bill to grant full financial and administrative autonomy to local governments across the country.
The Bill among other things, will amend the Constitution to repeal the state joint local government account and provide for a special account where all allocations due to the local governments councils, from the federation account and state government shall be paid.
With the new legislation, each local government council will now be required to create and maintain its own special account to be called Local Government Allocation Account, into which all the allocations will be paid.
It will also mandate each state to remit to local government councils in its area of jurisdiction, proportions of its internally generated revenue on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the House of Assembly.
For administrative autonomy, the bill seeks to allow local governments to conduct their own elections.
The lawmakers also voted in favour of financial autonomy for State Houses of Assembly and judiciary.
Meanwhile, the Senate witnessed over 73 votes during the voting process, which is the threshold required for such bills to pass.
Voting on all 68 proposed amendments to the Constitution is underway, with the lawmakers voting electronically.