Taraba, Benue Speakers Hail State Assemblies’ Financial Autonomy Law

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Wole Ayodele in Jalingo and George Okoh in Makurdi

The Speakers of both Taraba and Benue States have commended the federal government for the passage of the law granting financial autonomy to the State Assemblies and Judiciaries, which was passed on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Taraba Speaker, Peter Abel Diah has also declared that financial autonomy granted to the State Houses of Assembly would engender a dynamic and active legislature at the state level.

Diah, in a press statement made available to newsmen in Jalingo saturday hailed President Buhari for signing the bill into law, saying it is a major milestone for his administration.

The Speaker, who maintained that the signing of the bill into law marks a watershed in the development of the democratic process in the country, stressed that a vibrant legislature is the fulcrum for the attainment of the dividends of democracy.

Diah reiterated that the retrenchment of mutual trust, respect and trust among the three tiers of government would contribute immensely towards deepening the democratic process in the country.

According to the Speaker “Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the law of financial autonomy for the State Assemblies. This is commendable and I firmly believe that mutual respect and trust among the three arms of Government will contribute immensely towards the flourishing of our hard-earned democracy.”

Diah however commended members of the National assembly for driving the realisation of the bill, stressing that the development would promote harmonious relationship between the three arms of government and deepen the country’s democracy.

In a related development, Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange, has said the granting of financial autonomy to the State Houses of Assembly by the APC-led federal government would deepen democracy and enhance good governance across the country.

Ikyange made this assertion yesterday while reacting to the presidential assent to the Constitution Amendment Forth alteration bill, which grants financial autonomy to all the State Houses of Assembly. He said granting financial independence to the State Legislative Houses would not only lead to the growth and development of the Legislature but would also bring about effective oversight which would translate to good governance.

The Speaker noted with happiness that with this development the various State Assemblies would have more funds to aggressively improve the capacity of their Legislators and staff through regular trainings, seminars and workshops.
Ikyange averred that the decision of the federal government to grant autonomy to State Houses of Assembly was timely as it coincided with the passage of the Benue State House of Assembly Service Commission bill which aims at granting administrative autonomy to the assembly.

He commended Governor Samuel Ortom and other State Governors for the support they have accorded their State Legislatures, saying the institution of the Legislature in Nigeria would forever remain grateful to the APC-led government.

While assuring that the Benue State House of Assembly would take advantage of this autonomy to ensure robust legislative activities that would engender good governance, Ikyange appreciated the leadership of the national assembly and Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly for the various roles they played in actualising the autonomy.