GOVERNANCE; LOCAL GOVERNMENT CHAIRMEN TO ENJOY FOUR YEARS TENURE

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Lagos State House of Assembly is set to amend the local government administration law to make the tenure of the office of council chairmen four-years instead of three as it is currently.

The proposed amendment is sponsored by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa and the sections to be affected by the amendment include sections 27 (1), 24 (a) and an inclusion of 12 (1).

In the motion which was moved on the floor of the House during plenary yesterday, the Chairman, House Committee on Local Government Administration, Hon.Kazeem Alimi explained that the tenures of council chairmen and councilors would be adjusted to be in line with other representatives at the state level.

According to him, the proposed amendment would also take charge of the power of the state Assembly to enforce removal or suspension of any erring council chairman upon a petition from the concerned councillors.

Alimi also disclosed that the law would make categorical statements that any chairman who had served for two terms would not be eligible to contest any election as the head of local administration.

In his contribution, the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade maintained that the Nigeria constitution gives state Assembly the power to create local government, adding that for such creation to be effective the House should also have the power to sanction any chairman if found wanting.

While stressing the need for the amendment, Hon. Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) commended the courage of the Speaker for coming up with the new Bill, saying “previous efforts aimed at amending the law had proved abortive.”

Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso (Mushin 2) stated that after the creation of councils, it is crucial for us to monitor the activities of the council bosses, saying “failure to carry out proper investigation and pass resolution that must be obeyed, will be counter-productive.”

However, the Deputy Majority Leader, Wahab Jimoh cautioned his colleagues over proposed section that empowers the House to remove or suspend defaulting council chairmen.

Jimoh argued that the House should not make councillors handicapped, saying the legislative arm at the third tier of government is also paramount.

While supporting Jimoh’s position, another member, Hon. Ibrahim Layode (Badagry 1) said “section 24 (a) needs better explanation so that we don’t harmstrung the legislature at the local level.”

The Speaker however explained that there was need to allow the resolution of the House to be enforceable. He explained further that there was no provision that takes over the power of the councillors in the proposed amendments.

Obasa recalled that “we had passed resolutions on two or three council chairmen for them to be removed in the past but the Governor did not comply. With this new amendment, we as a House, can go ahead with the removal.”
Source; the nation

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