Reps consider allowing states control railway, power, others

The House of Representatives is considering moving some functions from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List, as part of the ongoing review of the Constitution by the National Assembly.

Some of the items in consideration include the power sector, railway, among others, Checkout Magazine learnt.

Three bills sponsored by Mr Babajimi Benson at the House on Wednesday passed the first reading.

The first bill particularly seeks to amend Second Schedule in Part 11 of the Constitution especially Items 13 and 14 to allow public and private entities be involved in “generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within the state or from the state to any other state with the consent of the state governments concerned.”

Another bill also seeks to alter the Second Schedule of the Constitution “to provide that the Federal Government and the state governments shall have Concurrent Legislative Authority with respect to railway and matters related thereto.”

The third bill seeks to alter section 315(5)(d) of the Constitution “to remove the Land Use Act from the Acts listed in the section in order to make the amendment of the Act flexible and similar to other Acts of the National Assembly.”

Benson who served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Defence, submitted that the ongoing nationwide protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force was a result of the governance structure of the country.

Speaking to PUNCH on the need devolution of powers, Benson said, “Yes, this is trying to make the states more viable. The #EndSARS protests have shown that we need to think out of the box and create opportunities for our teeming youths.

“Devolution of powers, unbundling the Exclusive List is the way I feel we can make impact within states. We will reengineer states to be more productive and be able to do things that will add more wealth to our Gross Domestic Products.

“If we devolve powers and we can have a state create its own power, it is going to have a catalytic effect on the socio-economic value in that state. Same for railway; if the states can interconnect rail lines, with the concurrence of the Federal Government, it will only make us advanced.

 4 total views,  1 views today


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here