• Thursday July 26, 2018 14:00 PM
  • NILS Press Corps
The Director General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Ladi Hamalai has said the recent Constitutional amendment which granted financial autonomy to State Houses of Assembly is a step in the right direction. She stated that financial autonomy would help to strengthen governance and boost service delivery by promoting the principle of checks and balances.

Speaking in Abuja on Thursday, July 26, 2017 at a Workshop organized by the Institute for Members of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Prof. Hamalai added that in order for the State Assemblies to effectively discharge their Constitutional responsibilities of oversight, financial probity, appropriation and implementation as enshrined in sections 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, there is need for administrative and financial autonomy.

She further informed that financial autonomy entails additional responsibility for both the legislators and support staff “therefore, necessary structure and processes must be put in place to ensure internal control mechanisms that could guarantee transparency and accountability in the daily operations of the parliament ".

In his response, the Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kabiru Mijinyawa appreciated the warm reception at the Institute and while expressing hopes that the Assembly would come out of the Workshop better informed and effective, the Speaker informed that he led members of the State Assembly to the Institute purposefully to learn and understand the pros and cons of the newly granted financial and administrative autonomy.

The first technical session of the Workshop had presentations on “Overview of Constitutional Framework for Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures" delivered by the Institute's Legal Adviser, Dr. Shuaibu Danwanka and Former Secretary of Finance and Accounts at National Assembly, Bukoye Lasisi touched on powers of legislature as it relates to financial autonomy; challenges of ‘Constitutionalization’ of financial autonomy for State Assemblies; Authorization of expenditure from State Consolidated Revenue Fund; Establishment of the Office of Auditor-General of the State and Conduct of Oversight.

The 2 day capacity workshop is one in the series of programs the Institute’s offers to legislatures in the country and Africa sub region to strengthen parliaments in Nigeria and beyond.