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Constitution Amendment: States can now generate, transmit and distribute electricity within

…Financial autonomy for judiciary, State Assembly, others.

by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed 16 Constitution Amendment Bills into Law. By this signing, State Houses of Assembly and Judiciaries now have constitutionally-guaranteed financial independence, while Railways have moved from “Exclusive Legislation” to the “Concurrent” list.

Another landmark change is, thus: “By virtue of the Presidential Assent, Nigerian States can NOW generate, transmit and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid – this wasn’t allowed in pre-amendment. This is genuine, realistic restructuring, through the Constitution.”

Prisons now officially known as “Correctional Services” and 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.

One of the new Amendments 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…”

Couples of constitution of amendment changing some names of local governments were done. In Ogun State, Egbado North and Egbado South Local Government Areas 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. 

CA Bills originally passed by NASS included one for 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. Not enough State Assemblies concurred, sadly.

With Railways moving from Exclusive to Concurrent, it means Rail no longer exclusive preserve of Federal Govt/NASS.

States will now be able to make laws regulating establishment & operation of rail services within their territories. Inter-State Rail will remain FGN responsibility. 

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