Sagay Blast NASS over 1999 Constitution Amendments

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay, has said some of the items the National Assembly proposed as amendments to the 1999 constitution are “totally irrelevant” to Nigerians.

He stated this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today. Sagay noted that the National Assembly should instead be more interested in the country’s restructuring.

According to him, “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 irrelevant to our needs at the moment. What is necessary and causing many problems in the country is the question of restructuring — the question of having true federalism. They have not touched that at all.”

The PACAC chair stated that the country should discuss a funding formula for the federation.

“We should retain the provisions of the 1963 constitution under which regions, now states, retained 50 per cent of its resources, sent 20 per cent to the Federal Government, and sent 30 per cent 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 stressed that most of the debates around the local government in the constitutional amendment are unimportant.

“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. One hundred per cent, 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, ”Sagay stressed.

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