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Senate committee recommends creation of 20 new states

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The Senate Committee on Constitution Review has recommended the creation of 20 new states.

According to a Punch report, the committee also proposed that referendum be conducted for the 20 new states by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Some of the proposed states are:

– ITAI State (from Akwa Ibom State)
– State status for the FCT
– Katagum State from Bauchi State
– Okura State from Kogi East
– Adada State from Enugu State
– Gurara State from Kaduna South
– Ijebu State from Ogun State
– Ibadan State from Oyo State
– Tiga State from Kano State
– Ghari State from Kano State
– Amana State from Adamawa
– Gongola State from Adamawa
– Mambilla State from Taraba State
– Savannah State from Borno State
– Okun state from Kogi State.
– Etiti State from the South East Zone
– Orashi State from Imo and Anambra states
– Njaba from the present Imo State
– Excision of Aba State from Abia State;
– Anioma State from Delta State
– Torogbene and Oil River States, from Bayelsa Delta and Rivers states
– Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa, and Zamfara states.

An inside source told The Nation when INEC gets the constitutional mandate, they can then invoke Section in Part 1 of Chapter 1 of the 1999 Constitution.

“We are talking of referendum for less than or about 20 new states.”

“The procedures for creating new states may be cumbersome but realizable.

“At the committee level, it was obvious that a civilian administration is better placed to create new states than any other form of government. In fact, the defunct Mid-Western Region was created in 1963 during the First Republic.

”In this Fifth Amendment to the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly can create new states if the conditions are met,” the source said.

Section in Part 1 of Chapter 1 of the 1999 Constitution states the conditions as follows:

“An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of creating a new state shall only be passed if –

(a) a request, supported by at least two-thirds majority of members ( representing the area demanding the creation of the new state) in each if the following –

(i) the Senate and the House of Representatives

(ii) the House of Assembly in respect of the area, and

(iii) the local government councils in respect of the area, is received by the National Assembly.

“A proposal for the creation of the state is thereafter approved in a referendum by at least two-thirds majority of the people of the area where the demand for creation of the state originated.

“The result if the referendum is then approved by a simple majority of all the states of the Federation supported by a simple majority of members of the Houses of Assembly, and

“The proposal is approved by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of members of each House of the National Assembly.”

It was also gathered that the Senate Committee on Constitution Review recommended the establishment of Federal Revenue Court, including five branches to adjudicate on tax-related issues.

Another source told the newspaper that:” The establishment of the court will accelerate cases involving tax defaulters, under-declaration of returns, and other abuses by local and multinational companies.

“The constitution will be amended to accommodate this specialized court.”

Asked when the Senate and the House of Representatives Committees will meet, the source added: “Before the end of the month.”

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