Members of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) in Lagos, Oyo, and Ogun States have embarked on an indefinite strike over non-implementation of financial autonomy for state legislatures.
Their protests across the south-west states Tuesday grounded legislative activities in the states’ houses of assemblies.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in May 2020, signed an executive order, granting financial autonomy to legislatures across the 36 states.
But the association said the executive arm has refused to implement the order.
Lagos PASAN state chairperson, Taofiq Adele said the strike followed the alleged inability of governors to carry out the order, 10 months after it was given.
“Recall that the bedrock of parliamentary autonomy hinges on financial independence,” Mr. Adele said.
“Autonomy in this context is simply defined as non-dependence and non-subordination of parliaments in relation to the executive.
“This non-dependence and non-subordination as stated above is in terms of unfettered control, over financial and other related resources.
“Therefore, according to the best practices, the parliaments should have equitable access to resources.
“As such, parliaments by constitutional arrangements, are supposed to have enough financial muscle to carry out their legislative mandates, including exercising power over budgets.”
According to Mr. Adele, parliaments should have control of and authority to determine and secure their budgetary requirements unconstrained by the executive.
He said such an arrangement would further save for budgetary constraints dictated by national circumstances.
The unionist said there was the need for the legislature to assert its role as a separate arm of government.
He added that the parliaments should be able to have control over their own timetable and ability to recall themselves outside normal sessions if required by circumstances.
The chairman said that the principle of autonomy in practice included parliaments’ responsibility for their own staffing and control over their own budgets.
He alleged that notices had been issued in line with the provisions of the Trade Disputes Act of the Federation, with no response from the government.
The chairperson, however, urged members of PASAN to be peaceful from the beginning to the end of the strike and wear legislative uniforms (PASAN cap) to the office on Tuesday in order not to give room for hoodlums to hijack the action.Follow us on social media