The Director General of Cross River State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has said if granted, the financial autonomy to Local Government will add value to Primary Healthcare services within the state. 

She made this known Tuesday during the public hearing of the 1999 Federal constitution amendments in Calabar.

As Nigerians across the federation begins the process of amending/altering some of the provisions and items in the 1999 FGN constitution, the Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu has joined the good people of Cross River State to support granting of autonomy to Local Governments with emphasis that the Local Government must contribute to core services shared by LGA and State such as Primary Health Care and even Basic Education. She also supported the populist “Not Too Young To Run bill”.
Dr Betta while addressing media, emphasised the need for LG autonomy which invariably would translate into efficient and quality healthcare service delivery as there would be fund for running primary healthcare at the grassroots. Speaking on the “Not too young to run” bill, she said that it was necessary for  young people with leadership capacities and abilities to seek elective positions without having age as a limiting factor and thus, gives her total support for the bill to be included among the items that needs alteration. She reiterated that, considering the growth and complexity of democracy vis-à-vis society, it became important that we encourage young people with innate passion for service who posses good leadership traits to vie for elections and age shouldn’t constitute a barrier.
Dr Betta Edu who expressed her excitement over the epoch making event yesterday, said she was much happy with the present leadership of our state House of Assembly who allowed the masses who constitutes government to have a say in a very important issue that affect the governing of their society.
“Constitution is generally seen as the grand norm of the document governing the affairs of a country and thus, it is supreme”. Nigeria, is not an exception, hence the need for us to have a people oriented constitution.
The public hearing/town hall meeting was successfully held at Cultural Centre, Calabar, Tuesday 9th January, 2018.
Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly

Earlier peaking, the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. John Gaul Lebo in his opening address, explained to constituents of the 25 state constituencies of the importance of altering some of the items in the 1999 Federal Government of Nigeria Constitution, noting that 15 items were transmitted from the National Assembly to the state House of Assembly for considerations and inputs from the people.
Speaking further, he said, Cross Riverians should vote their minds freely on the items as contained via National Assembly transmission and urges them to have faith in the state House of Assembly in its ability to forward same (their opinions) to the National Assembly.
Find below the items that needs alteration/amendment:
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 2) ACT, 2017.
1. A bill for An act to alter the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to reduce the period within which the President or the governor of a state may authorise the withdrawal of monies from the Consolidated Revenue Fund in the absence of an Appropriation Act from six months to three months; and other related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO 4) ACT, 2017.
2. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 for the funding of the Houses of Assembly of States directly from the Consolidated Fund of the State; and other matters related.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 5) ACT, 2017.
3. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to abrogate the State Joint Local Government Accounts and empower each Local Government Council to maintain its own special account and make provisions from savings in the Federation Account before distribution to other levels of government; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 6) ACT, 2017.
4. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to strengthen Local Government Administration in Nigeria; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 8) ACT, 2017.
5. A bill for an Act to alter provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or committee proceedings and institutionalise legislative bureaucracy in the Constitution; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 9) ACT, 2017.
6. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide the Independent National Electoral Commission with sufficient time to conduct bye-election and provide grounds for de-registration of political parties; and other related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 14) ACT, 2017.
7. A bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for Independent Candidature in elections; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 15) ACT, 2017.
8. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to change the name Nigeria Police Force to “Nigeria Police” to reflect their core mandate of providing civil services; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 16) ACT, 2017.
9. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to disqualify a person who was sworn-in as President or Governor to complete the term of the elected President or Governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term; and other related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 20) ACT, 2017.
10 A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to further strengthen the Judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 21) ACT, 2017.
11. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide time for the determination of pre-election matters; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 22) ACT, 2017.
12. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; and other related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 24) ACT, 2017.
13. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the procedure for passing a Constitution Alteration Bill where the President withholds assent; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 27) ACT, 2017.
14. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to reduce the age for qualification for the office of the President, members of the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly; and for related matters.
CONSTITUTION OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, 1999 (FOURTH ALTERATION, NO. 28) ACT, 2017.
15. A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to specify the Period within which the President or Governor of a state presents the Appropriation bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly; and other related matters.
Sequel to the votes, Local Government autonomy, independent candidature and not yo young to run bills top agenda as speaker after speaker supported and vote in affirmative (Yes).
It is hope that the opinions of the people would be considered, thus, making history in Nigeria for the first time, the people are part of their own constitution.
All the 25 State House of Assembly members including its leadership, constituents, civil society organisation, CRISPON, NIFLEM, Coalition for Change, NLC, etc were all represented.
By Kelvin Ezor

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