Home Constitutional Law II The Commissioners of State Government-Qualification for Appointment as a Commissioner

The Commissioners of State Government-Qualification for Appointment as a Commissioner

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Any appointment to the office of Commissioner of the Government of a state shall be made by the Governor after confirmation by the House of Assembly of the state. However before any appointment is made by the Governor must be guided by this provision which states: 

“The composition of the Government of a state, a local Government, or any of the agencies of such Government, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or such agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation”.

Note that no person shall be appointed a Commissioner of the Government of a state unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Assembly; while section 193 of the 1999 Constitution gives the Governor of a state a discretion to assign to the Commissioner of the Government of the state responsibility for any business of the Government of that state including the administration of any department of Government.
The Constitution provides that the Governor should hold regular meetings with the Deputy Governor and all the commissioners of the Government of the state for the purpose of:

  1. determining the general direction of the policies of Government of the state; 
  2.  coordinating the activities of the Governor, the Deputy Governor and the commissioners of the Government of the state in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and 
  3. advising the Governor generally in the discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by the constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body. 

Qualification for Appointment as a Commissioner

Apart from the qualificational criteria for election as a member of the House of Assembly of the state and subject to section 14(4) of the 1979 constitution and 15(4) of the 1989 constitution, there appears to be no specific qualifications made to guide an appointment to the office as a commissioner.

However, in appointing an Attorney-General for each state who shall be the Chief Law Officer and a commissioner of the Government of that state, no person shall be qualified to hold or perform the functions of the office of an Attorney-General unless such a person is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than 10 years.

Special Advisers

The Governor of a state also has a constitutional right to appoint any person as special Adviser to assist him in the performance of his functions and such officers will cease to be in office when the Governor ceases to hold office.  The number and the remuneration of such officers appointed shall be fixed by law or by the resolution of the House of Assembly of the state.

CONCLUSION

In this unit, we have attempted to examine the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Governors as well as the law relating to their election, powers and removal from office.

SUMMARY

You have learnt in this unit about the constitutional provisions concerning the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Governors in the State. Their powers, functions, limitations and how they can be removed from office.

TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT

  1. Explain and discuss the powers of the President and Governors under the 1999 Constitution. 
  2.  Explain the powers of removal of President under the 1999 Constitution.

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