The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, during an interview on Channels Television’s current affairs programme, Politics Today, criticised some of the items proposed by the National Assembly as amendments to the 1999 constitution, saying they are “totally irrelevant” to Nigerians.
According to him, the National Assembly should rather be more interested in the restructuring of the country.
“I have gone through most of the items which the National Assembly has taken up and unfortunately, it has conformed with what I have felt about their modifications of the constitution,” he said during the show on Tuesday.
“They are totally irrelevant to our needs at the moment. What is necessary and what is causing a lot of problems in the country is the question of restructuring — the question of having true federalism. They have not touched that at all.”
He explained that the country should be interested in talking of a funding formula for the federation.
“We should retain the provisions of the 1963 constitution under which regions, now states, retained 50 percent of its resources, sent 20 percent to the Federal Government, and sent 30 percent to a distributable pool — to be distributed among the states of the federation in accordance with your level of sufficiency in terms of provisions,” the legal personnel noted.
“Under the distributable pool, the least able state — the poorest state — gets more from that pool. Every state, even the rich ones, also get some. Under that formula, 50 for the state, 20 for the Federal Government, 30 to the distributable pool.”
Sagay also said most of the debates around the local government in the constitutional amendment are irrelevant.
“What they should discuss is total removal of the provisions of the local government from the constitution. The constitution shouldn’t tell us what we should do about our local governments. It should not contain a list of our local governments,” he added.
“Local government is a state matter. 100 percent, it is a state matter. It has nothing to do with the Federal Government. When you talk about the funding of local governments — how to create a special account for LG separate from the state governments — they are irrelevant; it shouldn’t be in the constitution at all.”
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