Dickson Grants Bayelsa’s Judiciary, Lawmakers Financial Autonomy

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Seriake Dickson

Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has signed the State House of Assembly Service Financial Autonomy Bill and the Legislative Funds Management (Amendment) bill into law.

The signing ceremony which had in attendance members of the House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Monday Oboluo-Bobou took place at the governor’s office, Yenagoa.

The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, said the financial autonomy granted the legislative arm of government would enhance optimal performance without undue interference from other arms of government.

The governor, who also signed into law, the Legislative Funds Management (Amendment) Law 2019, said Bayelsa had joined the league of other transparent democratic states promoting and deepening Nigeria’s democracy.

He said: “Today, I’ll be presenting an instrument underscoring the commencement of the self accounting system of legislative arm under the self accounting and autonomy principle. We will be kickstarting it, which means every month, the speaker and the chief judge do not need to come with files to any governor for approval.

“Our state has joined the few states in this country that are blazing the trail in terms of supporting and encouraging the independence of the two other equal branches of our government because we have confidence in our assembly and our judiciary”

The governor said that the autonomy granted both the legislature and the judiciary in the state would enable the two arms of government to carry out their duties without interference and promote checks and balances in accordance with the principle of separation of powers.

“Every month, the treasury has been directed to work out the percentage that is due to these other branches of government and with a standing order that I have already signed and given and we are making this public presentation so that, going forward everybody should know that the House of Assembly in Bayelsa is self accounting and they are autonomous in their financial activities and operations and same for the judiciary”.

Dickson lauded the leadership and members of the assembly for their hard work and sacrifice while expressing the hope that the assembly would continue to be stable and retain its position as a beacon of hope for the people even as his tenure as governor gradually draws close to an end.

He said that with the signing of the law, the heads of the other arms of government in the state did not to come to the executive to get what was due to them and called for the respect of the independence and autonomy of the legislature and judiciary.

Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Obolo-Bobou, in his comments, said he was elated and honoured to present the House of Assembly Service Law Bill 2019 as it would give effect to the autonomy granted the assembly.

He said that by the passing of the bill, the different directorates of the civil service of the House of Assembly were complete and would function well.

Obolo-Bobou, who thanked Dickson for assenting to the bill commended members of the assembly for their ‘immense’ contribution to the development of the state and in the making of the bill.