Governor Nasir El-Rufai has commended two National Assembly members from Kaduna state for spearheading efforts to enact into law, the recommendations of the All Progressives Congress(APC) True Federalism Committee which canvassed for devolution of powers.
A statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye thanked Senator Uba Sani and Hon. Garba Datti ‘’for demonstrating that the National Assembly is the critical institution for the vital task of restructuring Nigeria by passing laws devolving powers to its federating units.’’
The statement further said that ‘’ El-Rufai hopes that many more federal legislators will take up and sponsor the bills necessary to actualise restructuring as a nation-building opportunity.’’
According to Adekeye, ‘’the governor described the four bills sponsored by Senator Uba Sani to ensure the decentralisation of policing in Nigeria as a significant moment in removing the anomaly of a unitary police force in a federal republic.’’
The Special Adviser also said that ‘’the bill proposed by Hon. Garba Datti seeking to move labour matters into the concurrent list as another concrete step towards devolution of power in the country.’’
‘’Decentralisation of the judiciary, police and labour matters are among the items recommended by the APC True Federalism Committee. This entails moving the constitutional provisions on these matters wholly or partly from the exclusive list to the concurrent list, so that powers and responsibility over them can be devolved,’’ he argued.
The statement quoted the governor as recalling that the APC True Federalism Committee noted in its January 2018 report that “a major issue with the Nigerian federation is the enormous exclusive legislative powers of the federal government with resultant over-centralisation of power and authority.’’
According to Adekeye, El Rufai further recalled that the committee noted that ‘’ a further decentralisation of some of these powers by devolving more powers, autonomy, and resources to the federating units will foster efficiency and sub-national responsiveness and local accountability.”
The committee also reported that “there were calls that each state should freely legislate on its minimum wage according to the resources available to it but should avoid huge disparity between salaries and emoluments”, El Rufai recalled.
‘’In fact, the committee is of the view that all labour relational issues should be federalised and each state is free to determine its own labour laws”, the statement stated El Rufai as recalling.
‘’Such devolved powers on labour matters will include trade unions, industrial relations, conditions, safety and welfare of labour, industrial disputes, prescribing minimum wage and industrial arbitration,’’ he added.
The statement reminded that Kaduna State Government was the first government to pay the new national minimum wage, a step that was followed by raising minimum monthly pension to N30,000 for retirees on the old defined benefits system.
‘’The state has been operating the contributory pension system since 1 January 2017,’’ the Special Adviser stated.