President Buhari Signs Amended Constitution To Allow States Generate, Transmit Electricity

President Muhammadu Buhari  has signed into law the constitutional amendment allowing states in the country to licence, generate, transmit, and distribute electricity.

This was made known in a series of tweets by the presidential media spokesperson, Tolu Ogunlesi, on Friday.

He tweeted, “ President #MBuhari has signed 16 Constitution Amendment Bills into Law. By this signing, State Houses of Assembly & Judiciaries now have constitutionally guaranteed financial independence, while Railways have moved from Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.

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

“This is genuine, realistic Restructuring — through the Constitution”.

“Prisons”  – now known as “Correctional Services” – 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…”

“A couple of the Constitution Amendment Bills relate to the change of name of some Local Governments. B’cos LGAs are listed in the Constitution (I personally don’t think they should be!), you can’t alter their names or create new ones without a Constitution Amendment process”.

“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 territory. Inter-State Rail will remain FGN responsibility.”

“So apparently some of the LGAs whose names have just been changed by the constitutional amendments have been using the new names for a while, hehe. Well, it’s the old names that have been in the Constitution the entire time. The FORMAL change starts now!”

“Now that the Bills have been assented to, and have become Acts of Parliament, the next step is for “gazetting” to happen – the process by which the assented Acts are published in the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Here’s what a Gazetted Act looks like:”

On the other hand, the “Concurrent Legislative List” comprises matters/items concerning which BOTH the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly are allowed to make laws. 


Exclusive – NASS only

Concurrent – Both NASS & SHOA

There’s an important caveat for Concurrent:

CONSTITUTIONAL CAVEAT: “If any Law enacted by the House of Assembly of a State is inconsistent with any law validly made by the National Assembly, the law made by the National Assembly shall prevail, and that other Law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.”


The Bills the President signed, moving Correctional Services (Prisons), Electricity and Railways from Exclusive to Concurrent; what it means in effect is that instead of NASS having exclusive responsibility for making laws on these matters, States can also now make laws”.


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