The speakers of the 36 states Houses of Assembly in the country have resolved to work with the Presidency in achieving financial autonomy and independence for the states legislature.
The speakers vowed to ensure that this time around, the issue of financial autonomy for the state houses of assembly is pursued to a logical conclusion.
Addressing newsmen in Ilorin, Kwara State, the newly elected chairman of the Speakers’ Conference, Hon. Ismaila Kamba said that they would not make same mistake where few state Houses of Assembly opted out of the project in the past.
He spoke at the end of a two-day conference on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act organised by the Kwara State House of Assembly in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
“We will try to understand where that bill is and if necessary, we’ll refer it back to various Houses of Assemblies for another re-presentation and forward it to Mr. President for assent. “And I am very sure that we are not going to make the same mistake the other assemblies made. We are going to unanimously agree and endorse that state assemblies should have their financial autonomy.
“Also, I am very sure that Mr. President, in his wisdom and on his stance on anti-corruption crusade, will oblige and assent the bill into law this time”, he said.
The speakers’ conference, after deliberating on a model administration of criminal justice law and having resolved on its state-level adoption, also saw the purposes of the law as a tool that engenders smooth, effective and transparent criminal justice administration and meet the hopes and aspirations of the Nigerian citizens in their entirety.
They also agreed on the urgency to table the model administration of criminal justice law for onward adoption at the respective Houses of Assembly.
They further agreed that all the states which had not done so would endeavour to pass into law the administration of criminal justice bill within three to six months of receiving the model draft bill from the experts.
The Speakers, who said that they would also ensure common legislative agenda as part of programmes to execute, promised to entrench virtues and values that could make democratic governance people-oriented.
They also said that they would ensure total support to anti-corruption crusade, adding that they would partner with government at all levels in promoting peace, security and harmony in the country.