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NewsMedia has a critical role to play in Constitutional amendment_ PERL 

Media has a critical role to play in Constitutional amendment_ PERL 

Femi Mustapha
The  Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) said the Media has a critical role to play in mobilising the needed support for the ongoing constitutional amendment.
The State team Facilitator, PERL, Mr Abel Adejor asserted this during a one-day  engagement with the Media on the Constitutional amendment held in Kaduna.
According to him, Constitution is the ground norms of Nigerians  and the  most important document that guides the roles and function of the executive, legislature, and the judiciary, as well as all the tiers of government.
Adejor added that Media  served as a bridge between the government and the citizens, saying that, the media would be expected to use their various platforms to engage critical stakeholders and mobilise popular support for the ratification of the Constitutional Amendment Bills before the state assemblies.
Similarly, Mr Yusuf Goje of the Coalition of Associations for Leadership, Peace, Empowerment and Development(CALPED), noted that strong institutions is needed for any democracy to work effectively.
According to him, Local Government Administration and Financial Autonomy are very critical in improving service delivery at the local government level.
He added that the local government autonomy bills, along with others before the State Assemblies, were to strengthen the institutions of governance through a legal framework.
Speaking earlier, State Partnership Facilitator, PERL, Istifanus Akau said the main objectives of the  meeting is for the Media to develop strategies for effective engagement of Members of the House of Assembly to ratify the bills.
“Another objective is to increase understanding of the functionality of the local government systems through financial and administrative autonomy,” he said.
Akau added that the Media would also be engaging Policy makers and other critical stakeholders to influence the ratification of the Bills transmitted to the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
He said that the 9th National Assembly had passed the majority of the bills on priority issues canvassed by PERL and its partners in the ongoing constitution review process.
He said a total of 68 bills was presented and considered by the National Assembly, of which 44, representing 65 per cent were passed.
He added that two others were passed with some amendments, while 22, representing 32 per cent did not scale through.
“Two of the critical bills passed are the Local Government Administration and Financial Autonomy Bills which seeks to create standard tenure for local government administrators, abolish Caretaker Committees
“The Bills also abolished the Joint Allocation Account and made provision for direct allocation to local government councils.
“Another important bill is the Legislature and Legislative Bureaucracy Bill, to recognize the status of State Assembly Legislative Service Commission, for the implementation of State Assemblies financial autonomy.
“Other bills are Institutional Strengthening Bill, Establishment of State Security Council Bill, and timeframe for the submission and passage of the federal and state budget to enhance budget performance among others,” he said.

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