Friday, 27 July 2012

Nigeria Constitution Amendment,Northern Govs Oppose State Police

vehemently opposed the inclusion of state police and removal of the immunity clause from the Nigerian Constitution currently being proposed for another amendment. Rising from an emergency meeting under the aegis of Northern Governors’ Forum [NGF], they also expressed their total objection to any form of tenure elongation for the president and governors.

Their declaration at the end of the five-hour meeting, held at the Niger Government House in the federal capital, came amid the frenzied campaigns in certain quarters across the country, on issues for possible consideration under the amendment by the National Assembly.

While expressing their disgust over the call for the removal of immunity clause for serving chief executives, they urged the National Assembly not to tamper with the clause as contained in Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.

But, they canvassed for more devolution of powers to states and the reversion of on-shore/off-shore dichotomy, just as the members expressed support for the existing geo-political zones as a means of addressing political matters among the component units of the federation, without necessarily enshrining the engagement in the constitution.

On the devolution of more powers to states, the governors advocated an amendment of the Revenue Allocation Formula in favour of states and local governments, noting that the provisions of Section 44 (3) on Fiscal Federalism, as they stand in the constitution, should be preserved in favour of equity and fairness.

On derivation, they noted, “While the Forum noted that derivation should not be interpreted restrictively and not limited to natural resources, it resolved to amend section 162 (1) such that an office of the Comptroller of the Federation Account be established distinct from the office of the Accountant General of the Federal Government.

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