Midweek Essay: Devolving Power in Nigeria – And The Sections of the 1999 Constitution Where It should Start.
April 30, 2014
In the 1999 Constitution, see, for example,
there are (in effect) sixty-six (66) specific items in the Exclusive List, and fifteen (15) wishy-washy items (referring specifically to the “State” or “House of Assembly”) in the Concurrent List. Until this imbalance is substantially addressed – along with its financial implications for revenue allocation – no substantive “devolution of power” would have been attained following the ongoing National Conference.
I suggest below the movement of nineteen (19 items) – including (among others) most significantly Police, incorporation of corporate bodies, natural resource mining, railways and taxation – from the Exclusive to the Concurrent List to BEGIN to correct this imbalance.
Related to this, we could start with a new re-distributive revenue allocation formula – after 50% federal taxation of federating-unit-resource-
– Geo-Zones (Six)………………………….54% (9% equal per Geo-Zone)
– Competitive Allocation……………….10%
among states & Local
And there you have it.
For Six Additional Weeks Now….
And 6/12*100% additional more delegate money?
Table 1: Devolving Power in Nigeria – And The Sections of the 1999 Constitution Where It should Start.
|S/N||Exclusive List (66 Specific Items to the Federal Government)||S/N||Concurrent List (15 items with “State” and/or “House of Assembly” references)|
|1. Accounts of the Government of the Federation, and of offices, courts, and authorities thereof, including audit of those accounts.
2. Arms, ammunition and explosives.
3. Aviation, including airports, safety of aircraft and carriage of passengers and goods by air.
4. Awards of national titles of honour, decorations and other dignities.
5. Bankruptcy and insolvency
6. Banks, banking, bills of exchange and promissory notes.
7. Borrowing of moneys within or outside Nigeria for the purposes of the Federation or of any State.
8. Census, including the establishment and maintenance of machinery for continuous and universal registration of births and deaths throughout Nigeria.
9. Citizenship, naturalisation and aliens.
10. Commercial and industrial monopolies, combines and trusts. ========> move
11. Construction, alteration and maintenance of such roads as may be declared by the National Assembly to be Federal trunk roads.
12. Control of capital issues.
14. Creation of States ====> move (if “Creation of Regions or Geo-Zones” replaces this item)
15. Currency, coinage and legal tender
16. Customs and excise duties
18. Deportation of persons who are not citizens of Nigeria
19. Designation of securities in which trust funds may be invested.
20. Diplomatic, consular and trade representation.
21. Drugs and poisons. ====> move
22. Election to the offices of President and Vice-President or Governor and Deputy Governor and any other office to which a person may be elected under this Constitution, excluding election to a local government council or any office in such council.
24. Exchange control
25. Export duties
26. External affairs
28. Fingerprints identification and criminal records ====> move
29. Fishing and fisheries other than fishing and fisheries in rivers, lakes, waterways, ponds and other inland waters within Nigeria. ====> move
30. Immigration into and emigration from Nigeria
31. Implementation of treaties relating to matters on this list
32. Incorporation, regulation and winding up of bodies corporate, other than co-operative societies, local government councils and bodies corporate established directly by any Law enacted by a House of Assembly of a State ====> move.
34. Labour, including trade unions, industrial relations; conditions, safety and welfare of labour; industrial disputes; prescribing a national minimum wage for the Federation or any part thereof; and industrial arbitration ====> move.
35. Legal proceedings between Governments of States or between the Government of the Federation and Government of any State or any other authority or person.
36. Maritime shipping and navigation, including –
(a) shipping and navigation on tidal waters;
(b) shipping and navigation on the River Niger and its affluents and on any such other inland waterway as may be designated by the National Assembly to be an international waterway or to be an inter-State waterway;
(c) lighthouses, lightships, beacons and other provisions for the safety of shipping and navigation;
(d) such ports as may be declared by the National Assembly to be Federal ports (including the constitution and powers of port authorities for Federal ports).
38. Military (Army, Navy and Air Force) including any other branch of the armed forces of the Federation.
39. Mines and minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas. ====> move
40. National parks being such areas in a State as may, with the consent of the Government of that State, be designated by the National Assembly as national parks.
41. Nuclear energy
42. Passports and visas
43. Patents, trade marks, trade or business names, industrial designs and merchandise marks.
44. Pensions, gratuities and other-like benefit payable out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public funds of the Federation.
45. Police and other government security services established by law. ====> move
46. Posts, telegraphs and telephones
47. Powers of the National Assembly, and the privileges and immunities of its members
48. Prisons ====> move
49. Professional occupations as may be designated by the National Assembly.
50. Public debt of the Federation
51. Public holidays. ====> move
52. Public relations of the Federation
53. Public service of the Federation including the settlement of disputes between the Federation and officers of such service.
54. Quarantine ====> move
55. Railways ====> move
56. Regulations of political parties====> move
57. Service and execution in a State of the civil and criminal processes, judgements, decrees, orders and other decisions of any court of law outside Nigeria or any court of law in Nigeria other than a court of law established by the House of Assembly of that State. ====> move
58. Stamp duties
59. Taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains, except as otherwise prescribed by this Constitution.====> move
60. The establishment and regulation of authorities for the Federation or any part thereof –
(a) To promote and enforce the observance of the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles contained in this Constitution;
(b) To identify, collect, preserve or generally look after ancient and historical monuments and records and archaeological sites and remains declared by the National Assembly to be of national significance or national importance;
(c) to administer museums and libraries other than museums and libraries established by the Government of a state;
(d) To regulate tourist traffic====> move; and
(e) To prescribe minimum standards of education at all levels.
61. The formation, annulment and dissolution of marriages other than marriages under Islamic law and Customary law including matrimonial causes relating thereto.
62. Trade and commerce, and in particular –
(a) trade and commerce between Nigeria and other countries including import of commodities into and export of commodities from Nigeria, and trade and commerce between the states;
(b) establishment of a purchasing authority with power to acquire for export or sale in world markets such agricultural produce as may be designated by the National Assembly;
(c) inspection of produce to be exported from Nigeria and the enforcement of grades and standards of quality in respect of produce so inspected;
(d) establishment of a body to prescribe and enforce standards of goods and commodities offered for sale ====> move;
(e) control of the prices of goods and commodities designated by the National Assembly as essential goods or commodities; and
(f) registration of business names====> move.
63. Traffic on Federal trunk roads.
64. Water from such sources as may be declared by the National Assembly to be sources affecting more than one state
65. Weights and measures.
66. Wireless, broadcasting and television other than broadcasting and television provided by the Government of a state; allocation of wave-lengths for wireless, broadcasting and television transmission.
67. Any other matter with respect to which the National Assembly has power to make laws in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.
68. Any matter incidental or supplementary to any matter mentioned elsewhere in this list.
Extent of Federal and State Legislative powers
1. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the National Assembly may by an Act make provisions for –
(a) the division of public revenue –
(i) between the Federation and the States;
(ii) among the States of the Federation;
(iii) between the States and local government councils;
(iv) among the local government councils in the States; and
(b) grants or loans from and the imposition of charges upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public funds of the Federation or for the imposition of charges upon the revenue and assets of the Federation for any purpose notwithstanding that it relates to a matter with respect to which the National Assembly is not empowered to make laws.
2. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, any House of Assembly may make provisions for grants or loans from and the imposition of charges upon any of the public funds of that State or the imposition of charges upon the revenue and assets of that State for any purpose notwithstanding that it relates to a matter with respect to which the National Assembly is empowered to make laws.
3. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to such antiquities and monuments as may, with the consent of the State in which such antiquities and monuments are located, be designated by the National Assembly as National Antiquities or National Monuments but nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a House of Assembly from making Laws for the State or any part thereof with respect to antiquities and monuments not so designated in accordance with the foregoing provisions.
4. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to the archives and public records of the Federation.
5. A House of Assembly may, subject to paragraph 4 hereof, make laws for that State or any part thereof with respect to archives and public records of the Government of the State.
6. Nothing in paragraphs 4 and 5 hereof shall be construed as enabling any laws to be made which do not preserve the archives and records which are in existence at the date of commencement of this Constitution, and which are kept by authorities empowered to do so in any part of the Federation.
7. In the exercise of its powers to impose any tax or duty on –
(a) capital gains, incomes or profits or persons other than companies; and
(b) documents or transactions by way of stamp duties.
the National Assembly may, subject to such conditions as it may prescribe, provide that the collection of any such tax or duty or the administration of the law imposing it shall be carried out by the Government of a State or other authority of a State.
8. Where an Act of the National Assembly provides for the collection of tax or duty on capital gains, incomes or profit or the administration of any law by an authority of a State in accordance with paragraph 7 hereof, it shall regulate the liability of persons to such tax or duty in such manner as to ensure that such tax or duty is not levied on the same person by more than one State.
9. A House of Assembly may, subject to such conditions as it may prescribe, make provisions for the collection of any tax, fee or rate or for the administration of the Law providing for such collection by a local government council.
10. Where a Law of a House of Assembly provides for the collection of tax, fee or rate or for the administration of such Law by a local government council in accordance with the provisions hereof it shall regulate the liability of persons to the tax, fee or rate in such manner as to ensure that such tax, fee or rate is not levied on the same person in respect of the same liability by more than one local government council.
11. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation with respect to the registration of voters and the procedure regulating elections to a local government council.
12. Nothing in paragraph 11 hereof shall preclude a House of Assembly from making laws with respect to election to a local government council in addition to but not inconsistent with any law made by the National Assembly.
13. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to-
(a) electricity and the establishment of electric power stations;
(b) the generation and transmission of electricity in or to any part of the Federation and from one State to another State;
(c) the regulation of the right of any person or authority to dam up or otherwise interfere with the flow of water from sources in any part of the Federation;
(d) the participation of the Federation in any arrangement with another country for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity for any area partly within and partly outside the Federation;
(f) the regulation of the right of any person or authority to use, work or operate any plant, apparatus, equipment or work designed for the supply or use of electrical energy.
14. A House of Assembly may make laws for the State with respect to –
(a) electricity and the establishment in that State of electric power stations;
(b) the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to areas not covered by a national grid system within that State; and
(c) the establishment within that State of any authority for the promotion and management of electric power stations established by the State.
15. In the foregoing provisions of this item, unless the context otherwise requires, the following expressions have the meanings respectively assigned to them –
“distribution” means the supply of electricity from a sub-station to the ultimate consumer;
“management” includes maintenance, repairs or replacement;
“power station” means an assembly of plant or equipment for the creation or generation of electrical energy; and
“transmission” means the supply of electricity from a power station to a sub-station or from one sub-station to another sub-station, and the reference to a
“sub-station” herein is a reference to an assembly of plant, machinery or equipment for distribution of electricity.
16. The National Assembly may make laws for the establishment of an authority with power to carry out censorship of cinematograph films and to prohibit or restrict the exhibition of such films; and nothing herein shall –
(a) preclude a House of Assembly from making provision for a similar authority for that State; or
(b) authorise the exhibition of a cinematograph film in a State without the sanction of the authority established by the Law of that State for the censorship of such films.
17. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to –
(a) the health, safety and welfare of persons employed to work in factories, offices or other premises or in inter-State transportation and commerce including the training, supervision and qualification of such persons;
(b) the regulation of ownership and control of business enterprises throughout the Federation for the purpose of promoting, encouraging or facilitating such ownership and control by citizens of Nigeria;
(c) the establishment of research centres for agricultural studies; and
(d) the establishment of institutions and bodies for the promotion or financing of industrial, commercial or agricultural projects.
18. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly may make Laws for that State with respect to industrial, commercial or agricultural development of the State.
19. Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs of this item shall be construed as precluding a House of Assembly from making Laws with respect to any of the matters referred to in the foregoing paragraphs.
20. For the purposes of the foregoing paragraphs of this item, the word
“agricultural” includes fishery.
21. The National Assembly may make laws to regulate or co-ordinate scientific and technological research throughout the Federation.
22. Nothing herein shall prelude a House of Assembly from establishing or making provisions for an institution or other arrangement for the purpose of scientific and technological research.
23. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to statistics so far as the subject matter relates to –
(a) any matter upon which the National Assembly has power to make laws; and
(b) the organisation of co-ordinated scheme of statistics for the Federation or any part thereof on any matter whether or not it has power to make laws with respect thereto.
24. A House of Assembly may make Laws for the State with respect to statistics and on any matter other than that referred to in paragraph 23
(a) of this item.
25. The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to trigonometrical, cadastral and topographical surveys.
26. A House of Assembly may, subject to paragraph 25 hereof, make laws for that State or any part thereof with respect to trigonometrical, cadastral and topographical surveys.
27. The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to university education, technological education or such professional education as may from time to time be designated by the National Assembly.
28. The power conferred on the National Assembly under paragraph 27 of this item shall include power to establish an institution for the purposes of university, post-primary, technological or professional education.
29. Subject as herein provided, a House of Assembly shall have power to make laws for the state with respect to the establishment of an institution for purposes of university, technological or professional education.
30. Nothing in the foregoing paragraphs of this item shall be construed so as to limit the powers of a House of Assembly to make laws for the State with respect to technical, vocational, post-primary, primary or other forms of education, including the establishment of institutions for the pursuit of such education.
Confab: South West Delegate Threatens To Walk-Out Of Conference Over Power Devolution
Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), Oyo state delegate at the ongoing national conference has threatened to mobilise his fellow delegates from the South-West to stage a walkout of the meeting and to refrain from endorsing the resolutions of the committee.
Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN),
Chief Adeniyi Akintola said this on Tuesday during the meeting of Conference Committee on power devolution, as the committee retained all the 30 items on concurrent list as contained in Nigeria 1999 Constitution.
He said it was absurd that a committee which was meant to facilitate the devolution of powers had succeeded in making little or no changes, adding that the decisions of the committee made nonsense of the whole idea of power devolution.
“Where is the power devolution? We said State Police, you stopped it. We wanted local government to be the business of the state, you stopped it and said INEC should conduct elections for local government and you expect me to append my signature to it.
No Yoruba man will append his signature to anything done here. I can tell you that. I think the best option is to walk out” Akintola said.
Co-Chairmen of the National Conference Committee on Devolution of Powers, Obong Victor Attah and Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie tried to persuade Akintola and Mantu who were exchanging words following disagreement on power devolution.
The committee has the mandate to examine the Legislative List in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution to ascertain items that should be altered in reducing the over concentration of powers at the centre.
The committee had concluded deliberations on the Legislative List during which it retained Police Affairs contrary to the clamour that it should be moved to the Concurrent List to enable the states to establish their own police services.
- Category: REPORTS
- Published on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 21:53
- Written by Akpandem James
Press Statement – After four days of consistent debate and disagreement, the Committee on Devolution of Power at the on-going National Conference, on Wednesday, reached a consensus on modification of Item 39 of the Exclusive Legislative List. The item deals with the exclusive rights of the Federal Government to legislate on issues regarding “mines and
minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas.”
The modified version indicates that in carrying out mining activities across the country by the Federal Government, government of states where such natural resources are deposited shall be involved.
The modification of the item which has been a major cause of set-back in the Committee’s deliberation was celebrated by members shortly after Professor Nsongurua Udombana, a delegate from Akwa Ibom State, moved the motion for the modification.
The item was reframed to read: “Mines and all minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas, provided that: (A) The government of the state where mining activities take place shall be involved in matters relating hereto; (B) The government of the Federation shall make special grants to develop mines and minerals in states where such resources are undeveloped.”
The decision of the Committee was described by some delegates as the democratization and decentralization of industrial development through strategic mining of mineral resources nationwide.
Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Co-chairman of the Committee, Obong Victor Attah, who briefed the press after a two-hour close session on the issue, expressed delight that the committee was able to arrive at a consensus after a very tedious debate process.
He said the modification of the provision was a part of the decision of the Committee and by extension, the National Conference, aimed at ensuring that certain economic activities hitherto concentrated in the Federal Government were decentralized.
He said the Committee, in the performance of its functions, was determined to be thorough particularly in considering movement of items from the Exclusive to the Concurrent List and vice versa.
He described discussions on Item 36 as difficult since there were those who felt that because the resources belong to areas where they are found, the item should be moved to the Concurrent List.
On the other hand, he said others believed that since it was not all the states that boast of huge deposit of mineral resources, those who have such resources would have imbalance advantage over the poor states.
Attah said the decision to reframe the provision as proposed, was in consideration of the fact that since the item would still be in the Exclusive Legislative List, then state governments were not in a position to issue licenses to those interested in exploiting the mineral resources.
He disclosed that the focus of the Committee in reviewing the Exclusive Legislative List was to find ways of getting areas where mineral deposits are found involved in the business of mining those resources for a better Nigeria.
Earlier in the day, the leaderships of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) had visited the Committee to protest what they called the migration of labour issues from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List.
President of NLC, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar told the Committee that such a migration would affect the minimum wage which remains the right of workers under the law.
He pleaded with the Committee to reconsider its decision as 92% of the countries of the world put labour matters under the Exclusive Legislative List for the sake of protecting the workers whom he described as the most important resource in any country.
Omar urged the Committee not to make Nigeria a part of what he called a global tiny dictatorship that places workers’ issues at the mercy of state governors.
President of TUC, Kaigama Bala Bobboi, said placing labour issues under the Concurrent Legislative List would lead to having disjointed remuneration system in the country.
Describing labour as a national issue, Bobboi told the Committee members that it had become necessary that some protection be provided for the workers.
NLC’s chief economist, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said labour as a factor of production must not be left to the vagaries of multiple jurisdictions which would be inevitable if labour issues were taken to the Concurrent Legislative List.
Responding, Attah informed the labour leaders, who are also delegates to the conference, that the movement of labour issues to Concurrent Legislative List did not mean that the Federal Government no longer had control over labour matters.
He explained that being on the Concurrent Legislative List simply meant that if the Federal Government were to make any law regarding labour matters, such legislation will override that of any state.
At the sitting of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investment, a professor of economics at the University of Abuja, Olaniyan, analysed the state of the economy, identified challenges confronting the economy and proffered solutions that can aid the attainment of Vision 20-2020.
He gave a run-down of Nigeria’s resource endowment to include a large expanse of arable land, well irrigated by water; about 800 million tonnes of iron reserves and a large lead belt stretching from Imo to Anambra State. He also mentioned coal deposits in Kogi State that could give the nation electricity for the next 100 years.
He noted that the rising poverty level in the country was basically because 70 per cent of the economy of labour is engaged in Agriculture compared to EU where 74 percent are engaged in services while 22 percent is engaged in agriculture.
At the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters, the chairman of the sub-committee on the Role of Judiciary in Elections, Mr Festus Okoye, submitted a report which suggested the need for a special court for election matters.
Meanwhile the Conference Secretariat has granted the request of the leadership of Standing Committees who requested for extension of time to enable them meaningfully conclude their work and submit thorough reports. They observed that the time given for Committee work was grossly inadequate considering the workload, a situation which was further compounded by public holidays that ate into the time for committee work.
It was also noted that since some delegates are going to be involved in the Economic Summit which begins on Monday in Abuja, and others will be dislodged from their accommodation at the Hilton, it was necessary to extend the period for committee work to accommodate the exigencies and also allow for thorough work to be done.
Consequently, the Committees have been given up to Thursday May 15, 2014 to conclude work and submit their reports as deliberations at plenary is expected to resume on Monday, May 19, 2014.
2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE
APRIL 30, 2014
ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION