President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, signed the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution giving total financial autonomy to states’ Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House Correspondents shortly after meeting with the President.
Enang explained that with the signing into law of the Constitution Alteration Bill, the state Houses of Assembly would now operate like the National Assembly, where Federal Ministry of Finance automatically transfers budgetary allocation direct to the account of the NASS.
He said the Judiciary in the states would now enjoy similar financial independence, as their budgetary allocations would no longer go through the budgeting process of the executive arms at the state level, but would be transferred directly to the account of the judiciary.
Enang said: “I just want to inform you that the President today assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, which grants financial autonomy and independence to the Houses of Assembly of the respective states and to the Judiciary of the respective states.
“Therefore, upon this signature, the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary are to be now be paid directly to the judiciary of those states, no more through the governors and no more from the governors.
“And then, the amounts standing to the credit of the Houses of Assembly of the respective states are now to be paid directly to the Houses of Assembly of that state for the benefit of the legislators and the management of the states Houses of Assembly.