By Oke Epia
A cream of high profile speakers led by Senator Sadiq Umar, Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business; and Comrade Ambali Olatunji Akeem, National President, Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) will headline discussions at the second OPEN Constitution Series on Local Government and Constitution Review.
A statement by Oke Epia, Executive Director of OrderPaper Nigeria, said other speakers are the National Legal Adviser of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Barr. Okoroafor Okechukwu; and Dr. Adebola Bakare, Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin.
The OrderPaper Parliamentary Engagement Nigeria (OPEN) Constitution Conversation, billed to hold virtually on Friday, July 16, 2021, is part of efforts to further sensitize the public on critical issues on the ongoing constitution review exercise as it relates to ensuring efficiency and autonomy of the local government system of the country.
It is being organized by OrderPaper Nigeria in collaboration with the Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) Programme of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom.
Speakers and participants are expected to deliberate on the following issues as relating to the third tier of government: standard tenure for elected council officials; abolishment of caretaker committees; abolishment of the State-Local Government Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) and measures to ensure direct disbursement to local government areas; special provision for payment of teachers’ salary; and provision for savings.
The event aims to achieve robust conversations and consensus-building around, among others, critical diagnoses of status of Local Government Areas (LGAs) as captured in the ongoing constitution amendment process; proffer solutions to identified challenges of local government to further reinforce the push for constitution amendment; and make appropriate recommendations to the Legislature at the federal and state levels.
Recall that the first edition of the OPEN Constitution Series held on 26th May 2021 on the theme, “Nation Building and Constitution Review” and featured Prof. (Hon.) Julius Ihonvbere and Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa as Panelists while the Deputy President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, delivered a keynote remark.
OrderPaper Nigeria designed a series of conversations on the Constitution Review Process to raise public awareness and engender citizen engagement and participation in the all-important process of alteration of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
It is an expression of the organization’s mandate to bridge the gap between citizens and the National Assembly by serving as a platform for interaction and consultation between the Legislature and wider civil society, media and the private sector on legislative matters.