Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has commended the Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, and the House of Representatives member representing Sabon Gari, Garba Datti, for promoting restructuring agenda at the National Assembly.
Mr El-Rufai said the commendation became necessary as the two lawmakers had been spearheading efforts towards enacting into law the recommendations of the report of the All Progressives Congress, APC, True Federalism Committee.
According to a statement on Wednesday by the governor’s Special Adviser, Muyiwa Adekeye, the legislators have demonstrated the National Assembly’s critical role as a critical institution needed for restructuring the country by passing laws and devolving powers to its federating units.
The governor, therefore, wished that more federal legislators would take up and sponsor bills necessary to actualise restructuring as a nation-building opportunity.
He said: “The governor described the four bills sponsored by Senator Uba Sani to ensure the decentralization of policing in Nigeria as a significant moment in removing the anomaly of a unitary police force in a federal republic.
“He said 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.
“He also stated that decentralization 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.
“The other issues include Mines and Minerals, Registration of Business Names, Prisons, Stamp Duties, Railways, Fingerprints and Identification and Foods and Drugs,” he added.
According to the statement, Mr El-Rufai recalled the issues which brought about the launch of the APC True Federalism Committee.
The statement said: “Governor El-Rufai recalled 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-centralization of power and authority.
“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”.
“In fact, the committee is of the view that all labour relational issues should be federalized and each state is free to determine its own labour laws”.
“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.
“The Kaduna State Government is 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 January 1, 2017,” the statement concluded.
Mr Adekeye however noted that Governor El-Rufai appealed to the National Assembly to “expeditiously enact these bills into law with adequate regulatory standards, with safeguards to enable State and community policing throughout Nigeria, uphold labour rights and promote efficient industrial relations.”