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Bill seeking removal of police, mining from Exclusive list scales second reading in House of Reps

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A bill seeking the removal of the police, mining, and electricity from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent list scaled through second reading at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The bill titled: “A Bill for An Act to Alter Part 1 of the Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Devolve to State Some Items on the Exclusive List; and for Related Matters,” is sponsored by the House Chief Whip, Tahir Monguno.

Monguno, who led the debate on the matter at Tuesday’s plenary, said some items such as police, power generation, public holidays and mining activities should be moved to the Concurrent list to be legislated upon by both the federal and state governments.

He said: “Hon. Speaker, Hon. Members, we all know that section 4 of the 1999 Constitution empowers the national assembly to make laws with respect of matters, to the exclusion of any other tier of government, included in the Exclusive Legislative List.

“The 1999 Constitution came into force on May 29, 1999, and since then, a series of challenges have been noticed with regards to the exercises of powers vested in the National Assembly which is seen as concentrating powers in the centre. The concentration has led to agitation for devolution of powers to the State in order to achieve true federalism.

“This bill seeks to devolve some items on the Exclusive Legislative List to the State. The implication, therefore, is that the items will be transferred from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List. In other words, both the National and the State Assemblies can legislate on them”.

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Two other members of the House, Rotimi Agunsonye and Nkem Abonta, expressed their support for the bill.

After the lawmakers had expressed their opinion on the matter, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, subjected it to voice vote.

The bill was supported by the majority of the House members.

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