GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State on Tuesday canvassed for the scrapping of Nigeria’s upper legislative chamber, the Senate, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The governor, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), suggested that rather than the existing system, each geopolitical zone of the country should instead have equal number of four representatives at a single chamber legislature to be known simply as National Assembly.
Governor Akeredolu made the call at the Akure Centre of the South-West Zonal public hearing, organised by the House of Representatives Special Committee on Constitution Review. Represented by the deputy governor, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Akeredolu said the country should consider dropping the current bicameral structure of the National Assembly and adopt a unicameral legislature.
“The membership of the Assembly should be part-time. No member should earn allowances not known to the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Committee, and the people they claim to serve.
“Legislators should earn under a uniform salary structure. Allowance peculiarities must not be about obscenity. The Senate should be scrapped. The House of Representatives too should not be unwieldy. A maximum of four representatives should come from each zone,” he said.
Mr Akeredolu said all issues which elicited distrust and suspicion must be investigated dispassionately. He said: “Nobody must be shut out; all must be treated equally. All decisions must be anchored on the principles of equity and justice.”
The governor noted that constitution review was an important assignment which must be undertaken with all seriousness.
While arguing that revenue generation and allocation must reflect the extent to which a state participates in the economy, the governor also called for the pruning of ministries, agencies and departments to reflect realities of the time.
“Ministries, departments and agencies must be pruned to reflect the socio-economic realities of the moment. The government at the centre must divest itself of this self-inflicted heavy burden, for effective and impactful performance,” he noted.
He later called for state police, resource control, judicial reforms, especially with zones having their court of appeals.
Governor Akeredolu concluded by calling for a return to the 1963 Republican Constitution, saying, “We will have resolved many fundamental issues of nationhood with the adoption.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the South-West Zonal Public Hearing, Akure Centre, Comrade Peter Akpatason, said the event was important to have input from the people.
Comrade Akpatason, who is a deputy leader in the house, said the constitution was made for the people and could not be done without adequate input from the society.