- Separation of powers refers to the division of a government's responsibilities into distinct branches
- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state says Nigeria needs to focus on the concept which provides for checks and balances
- The Delta state governor also made comments on the ongoing constitutional amendment by the National Assembly
Asaba - Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that separation of power, checks, and balances were imperative for good governance in a presidential system of government.
Okowa stated this in a keynote address he delivered at the 2021 Second Quarter meeting of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria at Asaba, on Saturday, June 26.
An effective system of checks and balances
He stated that the relationship between the executive and legislature should be governed by trust, mutual respect, and deference, with each bearing in mind the tenets of separation of powers as required in the presidential system of government.
The governor remarked that the executive and legislative arms in a presidential system of government, had critical roles to play in promoting good governance, ensuring political stability, and fostering sustainable economic growth.
According to him, the first step to building sustainable partnership between the executive and legislative arms of government for effective service delivery is for both organs of government to work with the consciousness that separation of power is imperative for good governance.
A statement sent to Legit.ng by the Delta state government quoted the governor as saying:
“Each must realise that the principle of checks and balances as constitutionally provided for, is to prevent abuse of power, which, if allowed to fester, will ultimately circumvent the rights and will of the governed.
“It is exigent that both see themselves as complementary partners working towards the same goal, which is the development of the state for the greater good of all.
“Trouble looms when the executive arrogates to itself the power to do as it wills or the legislature takes undue advantage of its oversight function to twist the arms of the executive for selfish ends.
“Where the relationship is characterized by mutual distrust, suspicion, friction and conflict, it leads to crisis and failure of the government to deliver on its policies and programmes.”
Thoughts on the constitutional amendment bill
In another statement seen by Legit.ng, Governor Okowa called on the states' Houses of Assembly to ensure that the constitutional amendment bill is passed when passed to them by the National Assembly.
Okowa made the call on Friday, June 25 when he received the Conference of Speakers of States' Legislatures in Nigeria led by its Chairman and Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, at Government House, Asaba.
He stated that as states' legislatures, the onus was on them to pass the constitutional amendments in the interest of the nation.
On his official Facebook page, Governor Okowa stated that he spent some time with the lawmakers when they visited him.
According to the governor, he encouraged the Conference of Speakers to emulate the Delta state model and push for legislative autonomy in their various states.
Recall that Governor 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 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.
In a related development, Governor Okowa has said that for Nigeria to truly develop as a nation, there must be a partnership between the government and the people.
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.