IT MAY BE THE END TO “BUSINESS AS USUAL” by Nigeria’s 36 State Governors, who, financially, arm-twist State Houses Of Assembly to achieve desired personal aim – most cases, at the detriment of what is in the best interest and benefit of those they govern.  At the Governors beckon, State lawmakers, unhesitatingly, respond, by approving whatever the Governors present to them as ‘bills’ without due process.

State lawmakers are known to be giving their Governors unregulated access to running government affairs without constitutional checks and balances. Bills are passed into laws, in some instances, within 48 hours they were presented to the State Houses of Assembly by the Governors without robust debates. Public hearings where hardly held before laws were made. Oversight functions by the legislatures where non-existent. State Houses of Assembly simply, became rubber-stamp to the executive arm of government in the States.


It could slightly different with the Judiciary. States judiciary seems to still enjoy measure of integrity. But State Governors dictate the functions of the State Houses of Assembly, which breeds financial indiscipline and corruption.  Governors sponsor principal officers in the State Houses of Assembly, such as, who becomes the Speaker. With any slight opposition to Governors unabated quest and ambition in State Houses of Assembly, they set in motion machinery to impeach the Speaker.

State Governors overwhelming influence on legislative business in State Houses of Assembly will, now, be in the past. President Muhammadu Buhari, Friday, June 8, signed into law Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, which grants financial autonomy to State Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary – setting new pathway for State Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary.

State Houses of Assembly will, henceforth, receive budgetary allocation from the ministry of finance to their accounts.  Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, said the Judiciary in the States would also enjoy similar financial independence. Their budgetary allocations would no longer go through the budgetary process of the executive arms of the State government.


Nigeria’s National Assembly, receives direct transfer of its budgetary allocation from federal ministry of finance, into NASS account. This explains why the Senate and House of Representatives put the executive arm of government at the centre on their toes, what some observers see as frosty relation between the executive at the center and the national assembly, rather than see the genuine effect of separation of power.

Further pathway for the State Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary to tread, will be to manage their budgetary allocations prudently without being scandalous with their finances. It is time, also, to ensure clear-cut separation of power between the executive arm of government in the State, legislature and the judiciary. Ensure maximum checks and balances on the executive in the States, and assume the noble role of over-sighting government activities to ensure good governance.

It is simply taking a cue from National Assembly in getting the federal executive to be democratic and respect the principle of separation of power.  Even then, it has been uneasy relationship between the national assembly and executive arm of government.  State Houses Assembly should not expect any less from the state executive.