By Chukwuemeka Opara
The Speaker, Ebonyi House of Assembly (EBHA), Chief Francis Nwifuru, on Sunday said the House had been enjoying financial autonomy since the inception of Gov. David Umahi’s administration.
Nwifuru said this in a radio programme monitored by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki.
He was reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s signing into law an executive order granting financial autonomy to states’ legislature and judiciary.
The EBHA Speaker said the executive order was a welcome development.
He, however, added that it was not new in Ebonyi because the House had long been enjoying financial autonomy from the state’s executive arm led by Umahi.
“This has been a struggle in the country between the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government to be autonomous financially and administratively.
“Fortunately in Ebonyi, the governor understands the principles of separation of powers and within six months in office he constituted the state House of Assembly Service Commission.
“The law governing the commission was passed in 2011 but no one ever constituted the commission.
“I presented the matter to the governor and within six months in office, he approved and constituted the commission immediately,” he said.
Nwifuru recalled that the National Assembly had passed the House of Assembly autonomy into law – 4th alteration; section 121 (3) of the constitution.
“Once the section had come into place after the President’s assent, whatever is due to EBHA will go to it and it will make a financial management law in the House.
“The governor assented to this law which entails that every fund meant for the House must be transferred directly to it,” he said.
He commended Buhari for signing the law, noting that it was in line with the constitution of the country.
“The president has given more clarifications and directives to ensure that the financial autonomy is implemented 100 per cent.
“We are, however, lucky in Ebonyi because what the President signed is exactly what is happening in the state,” he said.