26th September, 2012
The suggestion by the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for a unicameral legislature at the federal level has been strongly seconded by a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Gbolahan Yishawu.
The member of the House representing Eti-Osa Constituency 2 canvassed for the scrapping of the Senate, while the House of Representatives, with its more extensive geographical spread, be left to perform the legislative and representative functions of the legislative arm of government.
Yishawu argued that a unicameral legislature would result in reduced cost of governance at the federal level, adding that the savings made would be channelled into areas of greater priority.
“It will make that organ of government leaner and more efficient while doing away with the unnecessary bickering that has sometimes characterised the relationship between the Senate and the House of Representatives,” Yishawu said.
The lawmaker maintained that the call for a unicameral legislature is in line with his earlier call for power devolution from the Federal Government to other tiers of government in the country.
“There is need for less emphasis to be placed on the centre, and more resources devoted to the state and local governments which are closer to the grass roots and have more responsibilities to the people,” he stressed further.
He restated that Nigeria needed to strengthen the federalist structure of the country with further entrenchment of fiscal autonomy “such that states can generate and maintain their own resources, develop their own endowments and enable a competitive spirit as a driver for the development of the nation.
“We cannot fathom the justification for a situation in which Lagos State, for instance, generates so much company income tax and value added tax from companies resident in the state, yet benefits so little from it.”
He urged that this position should be considered in the current constitutional amendment.