President Muhammadu Buhari has signed 16 Constitution Amendment Bills into Law. By this signing, State Houses of Assembly & Judiciaries now have constitutionally-guaranteed financial independence, while Railways moved from Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.
Another landmark change by virtue of the Presidential Assent; Nigerian States can now generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid that wasn’t allowed pre-amendment.
This is genuine, realistic Restructuring — through the Constitution.
The Nigerian Prisons, now known as Correctional Services – has also now moved from the Exclusive Legislative List, to the Concurrent List, meaning that States now have the power to establish Correctional and Custodial facilities, and State Assemblies have the power to legislate on such.
An additional amendment to the Constitution mandates the President and Governors to submit the names of persons nominated as Ministers or Commissioners within sixty days of taking the oath of office for confirmation by the Senate or State House of Assembly.
Also assented was the changing names of local governments in Ogun State, Egbado North and Egbado South Local Government Areas which are now to be known and addressed as Yewa North and Yewa South respectively.
In Ebonyi, Afikpo North and Afikpo South LGAs are now to be known as Afikpo and Edda LGAs respectively.
Other Bills originally passed by NASS included financial autonomy for local governments, replacing the controversial “State Joint Local Government Account” w/a new “Local Govt Council Allocation Account”—to be credited directly, unfortunately, many state State Assemblies disagreed with this proposal.
With Railways moving from Exclusive to Concurrent list, it means Railways are no longer exclusive preserve of Federal Govt/NASS, States will henceforth be able to regulate, establishment and operate rail services within their territory while Inter-State Railways remain FGN responsibility.