36 State assembly speakers send message to Tinubu over economic hardship

The Conference of Speakers from 36 State Houses of Assembly has urged President Bola Tinubu to implement sustainable policies that would address the sufferings of Nigerians.

The speakers also admitted that the economic challenges faced by Nigerians are due to President Tinubu’s  removal of petroleum product subsidy and the floating of the exchange rate, which has led to harsh consequences for the populace.

The conference, chaired by the Speaker, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, also urged the Federal Government and State Governments to initiate sustainable policies with equal measure of courage to ameliorate the sufferings of the people.

The conference also strongly advocated for state policing, stating that it would check the negative trend of insecurity in our country. 

The conference further appealed to relevant political leaders in Rivers State to explore peaceful means to resolve the near impasse between the legislative and executive arms of the state government. 

The resolutions were contained in a communiqué signed by the chairman at the end of a meeting attended by twenty-nine speakers in Abuja.

The meeting had deliberations on a wide range of issues concerning good governance in the country. 

According to the communiqué, “While the Conference acknowledges the courage of Mr President in his economic policies taken so far, such as the removal of petroleum product subsidy and the floating of the exchange rate, the unintended consequences of these policies are too harsh on the populace.”

Speaking at the conference, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, who was represented by the Chairman, House Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Hon Mark Esset, stated that the issue of state legislative autonomy will be prioritized in the ongoing constitutional review, adding that it will part of the key issues that will be on the front burners.

Speaking on the merits of the forum, Esset explained that the forum symbolizes a vital convergence of minds dedicated to advancing democratic processes and promoting good governance. 

“In this critical time that the 10th National Assembly is undertaking the review of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and knowing the important role the State Houses of Assembly plays, one of the key issues that is on the front burners of the constitutional review is the enactment of the state Houses autonomy, which is the key issue or key point the Houses of Assembly seek to achieve. 

“The National Assembly has done it before; unfortunately, it was lost, but I assure you that the National Assembly under the leadership of Tajudeen Abbas, the state parliament autonomy will be a reality.

“In today’s interconnected world, the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation cannot be overstated. Through collaborative efforts, shared experiences, and mutual support, we can address common challenges and work towards sustainable development and prosperity for our people,” he said.

“For too long, the national and state legislatures have operated somewhat in isolation; fostering constructive engagement is critical. 

“The 10th House of Representatives is particularly keen on strengthening this relationship, especially as we embark on the review of Nigeria’s Constitution. Your support and active participation will be crucial to the success of this monumental task. Additionally, it is essential that we all stay current with our subscriptions to the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA).

“Membership in the CPA offers numerous benefits, including access to a global network of parliamentarians, opportunities for professional development, and platforms for sharing best practices in legislative processes.

“By maintaining our subscriptions, we ensure that we continue to benefit from these valuable resources and remain engaged in the global parliamentary community. Furthermore, your active participation in the CPA allows us to contribute to the ongoing efforts to transform the association from a charity organization based in the UK into a fully-fledged international organization. This transformation will enhance the CPA’s ability to support its members more effectively and ensure that its governance structures reflect the diverse perspectives of its global membership.

“As someone who once served in a state legislature, I am acutely aware of the unique challenges you face as state legislative leaders, especially within the context of state politics. 

“However, by working together, we can develop more robust and responsive legislative branches across the country. I commend you for your unwavering commitment to fostering legislative excellence and for your tireless efforts in representing the voices of your constituents. Your dedication is fundamental to the strength and vibrancy of our democracy.

After exhaustive deliberations, the conference issued the following resolutions at the end of the meeting:

“The Conference observed that in spite of the constitutional provisions that grant Financial Autonomy to the State Legislature, the implementation has been observed in breach. We, therefore, call on all the relevant stakeholders to comply with all the provisions in the Constitution and not breach them. 

“To achieve this, the Conference appeals to the National Assembly, Presidency, and other relevant stakeholders to leverage the ongoing constitution review exercises.”

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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