Enugu Lawmakers Await Governor’s Assent To Bill Granting Financial Autonomy To State Assembly – The Whistler Nigeria

A law that grants full financial autonomy to the Enugu State House of Assembly (ENHA) has been enacted.

The law entitled, “The Enugu State Legislative Funds Management Law 2021”, was initiated by the House leader, Ikechukwu Ezugwu. The law was enacted by the House on July 1st, 2021 and expected to become operational with the state governor’s assent.

When assented to, all funds due to the House of Assembly for capital and recurrent expenditure shall be paid by the accountant-general of the state into the House account as statutory transfers in accordance with the provisions of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution. The law, when signed by the executive, will amongst others, allow the ENHA to manage its capital and recurrent expenditure in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Among the capital expenditure in the proposed law are the purchase of vehicles and office equipment, construction of the House of Assembly buildings, renovations, and repairs. They will however be supervised by the relevant government agencies.

It also provides for the maintenance of a separate account to be known as ‘the Enugu State House of Assembly Statutory Account’ from where six sub-accounts shall be operated for ease of administration and cater for the legislators, staff/management, House of Assembly Service Commission, capital votes salaries and allowances, pensions, gratuities and severance and office of the speaker.

Others are the establishment of a committee to be known as the Funds Management Committee which will have the speaker as the chairman and the clerk of the House as secretary, and other members.

The law further provides for the establishment of the ‘State Account Allocation Committee’, (SAAC) which will be made up of the commissioners in charge of finance, budget and planning; the accountant general for the state; two members of the State House of Assembly to be nominated by the speaker; clerk of the House of Assembly, secretary of the state House of Assembly Service Commission, chief registrar of the state high court and secretary of the state judicial service.

It also provided that the account(s) of the Assembly shall be audited annually by the auditor-general of the state, or any person authorised by him to do that.

A lawyer, Mr Jude Nkor, told our correspondent that, “If the law is assented to, it will make the lawmakers vibrant because they won’t be going cap in hand seeking executive assistance all the time. It will also be worthy of emulation across the country.”

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