Constitutional Amendment: Okowa Advocates Devolution of Powers to States, Councils

Constitutional Amendment: Okowa Advocates Devolution of Powers to States, Councils

- More suggestions are springing up as Nigeria gears up for constitutional amendment across the country

- Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has been very vocal and explicit in sharing his thoughts on the amendment

- The governor has made a case for oil-producing states, state police, and ultimately the devolution of powers

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Asaba - Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Thursday, June 3 advocated for the devolution of powers to states and local governments to stop overburdening the federal government with many responsibilities.

According to a statement sent to by the Delta state government, Okowa made the call when the House of Representatives sub-committee on review of the 1999 Constitution led by Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Wase, visited him at the Government House, Asaba.

Constitutional Amendment: Okowa Advocates Devolution of Powers to States, Councils
Governor Okowa poses for a photo with members of the committee during the visit. Photo credit: @IAOkowa
Source: Twitter

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According to him, the federal government is overburdened with many responsibilities in the exclusive list, making it encumbered and inefficient.

He stated that states and local governments were closer to the people and required more funds to execute life-changing projects that would be beneficial to the people.

Okowa also called for the amendment of Section 162 on public revenue, fiscal federalism, and revenue allocations, adding that there was a need to look at that aspect very closely.

He said that there hadn't been any review since 1999 even when the Constitution provided for a review every five years.

He added that oil-producing states were not fairly treated because of the ecological and environmental degradation they suffered as a result of oil exploration and production.

The governor called for the amendment of sections 214 to 216 of the 1999 Constitution to pave way for the creation of state police, stressing that there is the need for state police which he and his colleagues have agreed on.

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Earlier, Wase had said that the committee members were in the state for ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution and called on stakeholders to come with submissions that would make the exercise a huge success.

He lauded Governor Okowa for his contributions to national development and urged him not to relent in transforming Delta state in terms of development.

Governor Okowa had on Wednesday, May 26 said Nigeria needed a new constitution, and not an amendment to accommodate emerging issues of good governance and greater interest of Nigerians.

Okowa stated this when he received on a courtesy visit, the Senate sub-committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution led by Senator James Manager at Government House, Asaba.

He said that a new constitution for the country had become imperative in view of observed lacunas in the 1999 constitution.

In a related development, Governor Okowa has said that for Nigeria to truly develop as a nation, there must be a partnership between government and the people, predicated on equity, fairness, and justice.

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The governor stated this at a state banquet in honour of retiring chief judge of Delta state, Justice Marshal Umukoro, on Saturday night, May 22 in Government House, Asaba.

He said that in such partnership, consideration of equity and rights of all was paramount and that the people must be treated fairly and equitably in all dealings.


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