Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday, forwarded two bills to the State House of Assembly for legislative consideration and possible passage into law.

The Bills are: The Ekiti State Judiciary (Funds Management) Bill, 2021 and the Creation of Local Government Bill, 2021.

The Judiciary (Funds Management) Bill is a bill for a law to provide for the management of funds of the Ekiti State Judiciary and the repeal of the Ekiti State Fiscal Autonomy for the Judicial Arm of Government Law, No 8 of 2008 and for other related matters.

The state government proposed this bill in furtherance of the Memorandum of Action on the Implementation of the Financial Autonomy for the State Judiciary, which was jointly signed, by the Nigeria Governors Forum and the National Judicial Council among others on 20 May, 2021.

In broad terms, the purpose of this bill is to grant Ekiti State Judiciary the power to manage its capital and recurrent expenditure in accordance with the provision of Sections 6(5)(a)-(I), 81(3), 121(3) and Item 21(e) of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other relevant laws.

The Bill further affirms the severally stated commitment of the Fayemi administration to an independent judiciary that is professional, effective, and responsive to the needs of all users including where appropriate, the provision of informal dispute resolution mechanisms.

The Creation of Local Government Bill, 2021, is a bill for a law to provide for the creation of new local government areas in Ekiti State and for other related matters.

The bill seeks to create nineteen (19) new local government areas in addition to the existing 16 local government areas in the state as specified in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

These newly proposed local government areas are inchoate and shall operate for the time being as Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) until such a time as the National Assembly shall pass an act recognising them under section 8(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The new 19 LCDAs in alphabetical order are : Ado Central LCDA, Ado North LCDA, Ado West LCDA, Ajoni LCDA, Araromi LCDA, Ekameta LCDA, Ekiti South East LCDA, Ero LCDA, Gbonyin LCDA, Ifedara LCDA, Ifeloju LCDA, Ifesowopo
LCDA, Igbara-Odo/Ogotun LCDA, Ikere West LCDA, Ikole West LCDA, Irede LCDA, Irewolede LCDA, Isokan LCDA and Okemesi/Ido-Ile LCDA.

The Creation of Local Government Bill, 2021 is the culmination of a process of consultative and inclusive engagement of various communities in the 16 Local Government Areas of the state.

It will be recalled that on the 16th of November, 2020, the Governor formally inaugurated the Committee on the Creation of Local Council Development Areas in the state.

The Committee consulted extensively over a five-month period and submitted a comprehensive report that took into consideration several issues including population of each of the proposed LCDA, availability of personnel, physical structure of proposed headquarters and broadly economic viability of the proposed LCDAs.

In addition, there were several inter-ministerial meetings within the framework of a white paper committee that met to review the report and made recommendations on institutional arrangements for the effective functioning of the proposed LCDAs especially in view of the economic situation facing the country of which Ekiti State is no exception.

The State Executive Council further deliberated extensively on the proposals and resolved that the creation of the new LCDAs is in response to the agitations of the communities affected and that continuing the efficient management of state resources by the Fayemi administration will ensure that the LCDAs are appropriately funded. By the provisions of the bill, the governor shall have the power to appoint persons to administer the affairs of the LCDAs until such a time when a democratically elected authority is put in place.

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