State Houses of Assembly, Judiciary Get Financial Autonomy
State Houses of Assembly and the States’ Judiciary now have financial autonomy.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed a Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, which grants this financial autonomy.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, told reporters on Friday that with the signing into law the Constitution Alteration Bill, the State Houses of Assembly would now operate like the National Assembly (NASS) where Federal Ministry of Finance automatically transferred budgetary allocation direct to the account of the NASS.
With the approval, the Judiciary in the states would also 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.
"Therefore, upon this signature the amount standing to the credit of the judiciary are now to be paid directly to the judiciary of that state, no more through the governor and no more from the governors.
"And then amounts standing to the credits 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 legislature and the management of the State Houses of Assembly.
"This grants full autonomy now to the judiciary at the state level and the Houses of Assembly at the state level,’’ he explained.
He said: “Well, this allows the State Houses of Assembly to operate like the National Assembly does because the National Assembly does not get its money from the executive.
“It provides money in the statutory transfers which the Ministry of Finance will automatically transfer to the account of the National Assembly.
“Just like that of the (Federal) Judiciary, you see, the judiciary sometime get 150 billion Naira to 170 billion Naira sometime a little bit about a 100 billion Naira.
“It does not go through the executive and it does go through the budgeting process of the executive. It is transferred directly to the account of the judiciary, which is the head of courts.
“When the Houses of Assembly are doing their budgets the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary it will now going to be among the statutory transfers which will be statutorily transferred to the heads of the courts.
“And then, that of the State Houses of Assembly will stand transferred to the House of Assembly of the state".