The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday passed into law the Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) 2020.
The new bill is an amendment to the Lagos State House of Assembly Service Commission Law of 2015.
Members of the House unanimously passed the amendment bill into law after it had passed through the mandatory 3rd reading on the floor of the House.
The new bill is couched to give teeth to the autonomy granted state Houses of Assembly in line with Executive Order 10 which President Buhari signed on Friday May 22, 2020.
The financial autonomy granted State Legislatures and Judiciary is in line with the provisions of Section 121(3) of the 4th Alteration of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The new bill makes provisions for appointment and tenure of members of the commission.
According to the amended section 4, “the Chairman and members of the Commission shall hold office for a term of five (5) years and may be eligible for re-appointment for a further term of five (5) years only”.
Section 21 deals with the tenure of the Clerk of the House. Section 21 states inter alia: ” The Clerk shall hold office for a period of four years and may be eligible for re-appointment for a further term of four (4) years only”.
Section 22 creates five Deputy Clerk positions which include: Deputy Clerk (Legislative Matters); Deputy Clerk (Legislative Drafting and Legal Services); Deputy Clerk (Publication); Deputy Clerk (Administration and Human Resources) and Deputy Clerk (Finance and Accounts.
Among the newly created sections of the law are Sections 24 and 29 which deal with fund of the commission and payment of salaries, pensions, other remuneration and allowances payable to members, and staff of the House of Assembly respectively.
State governors in Nigeria under the umbrella of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) had seriously antagonized the Order 10 and urged the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to suspend the implementation of the Order “pending the time the states would be ready.”
Several states, however, began the implementation of the autonomy for the state parliaments.
Benue, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom are among the states partially implementing the financial autonomy.