News Column

CONFAB Adopts Zoning of Elective Offices, Scraps State-LGs Joint Account

July 3, 2014

The National Conference has adopted a recommendation for an amendment of the Electoral Act and constitution of political parties to zone and rotate elective offices at all levels of government.

The conference, while reviewing its Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Governments report on Thursday in Abuja, said zoning should be on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.

Also, the office of president shall be rotated between "the North, South and among the zones" while the office of governor shall be rotated among the three senatorial districts in that state.

The conference accepted the proposal that the office of local government chairmen should be rotated within the local government areas that made up the state.

It added that INEC should divide local governments into two or three equal parts, as the case may be, for the purpose of rotation of chairmen.

The conference, however, rejected the recommendation that a candidate for an election to the office of president should run as a sole candidate.

It retained the current system, where the president and his vice ran on the same ticket.

It further adopted that in the event of death, incapacitation, impeachment or resignation of the president, the vice president shall act as president for the period of 90 days.

After the expiration of the 90 days, an election shall be held to the office.

The conference equally accepted that the president shall exercise full responsibility for his government and shall select ministers not more than 18 from the six geo-political zones of the country.

It also recommended that there shall be a quarterly question time for president and ministers at the legislature, to enhance accountability and transparency.

The conference further accepted that the State/Local Government Account should be scrapped while State Revenue, Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission shall be established.

The commission, according to the conference, is expected to have as members, representatives of local government areas and a chairman nominated by the state governor.

The nominees shall be confirmed by the state House of Assembly.

It accepted that the functions of the local governments as contained in schedule 4 of the 1999 constitution as amended shall be transferred to the state.

The State House of Assembly, however, is empowered to add or reduce the functions of local governments.

It also adopted that the constitution should fix the tenure of local government councils at three years.

It recommended that election shall be held not earlier than 90 days or 30 days to the expiration of the tenure.

It added that any local government councils not democratically elected shall not be recognised by all authorities and persons.

It added that such council would not be entitled to any revenue allocation from federation account or the account of the state government or exercise any functions of local government.

The conference also rejected a recommendation of a unicameral form of legislature to retain the current bicameral legislature.

It also rejected the establishment of a body to supervise the legislature.

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Source: AllAfrica

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