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Financial Autonomy: Governors Vow to Support State Assemblies, Judiciary

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – State Governors have pledged to support the implementation of financial autonomy for state assemblies and judiciary.

Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz YarI, explained that the autonomy would  ensure highest level of transparency and openness in governance.

Yari spoke at the opening of a two-day conference on the implementation of autonomy of state legislature and state judiciary in Abuja

He stated that governors would work with the federal government to achieve the implementation strategy.

Yari, who was represented by Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, noted that though Nigeria’s democracy is 20 years old, it has witnessed a lot of challenges

He, however, commended the current administration’s focus on ensuring that rough as the journey maybe, it will surely take us to the promise land.

According to him, “I totally aligned with the motion that the legislature and judiciary autonomy are necessary precondition for an enduring democracy. This enhance efficiency, transparency and accountability in government.

“May I also assure you that the state governors are collectively committed to the enthronement of a strong and viral  democracy in Nigeria and would work with the federal government to achieve the National implementation strategy and ultimately ensure fully autonomy of the legislature and judiciary at sub-national levels.

“The NGF fully supports Mr. President reform agenda and share its passion for transparency and zero corruption. We commend the efforts of the committee in putting together this very decisive conference to see that Nigeria attends the highest level of transparency and openness in governance”, he added.

In the same vein, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, also commended Buhari for assenting to the bill, noting that autonomy was central to the practice of democracy especially separation of powers

Also speaking on the occasion Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu noted that there was need to strengthen local government areas while urging state assemblie expedite action

He renewed the call for State Police and commended the federal government for its interest in the implementation of the law.

Also speaking on the occasion, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate), who is also the Secretary of the panel, Ita Enang, said: “We are impressed by the attendant. Out of 36 states, 34 of the chief judges of the federation are here, and 31 speakers are also here in person while the rest of them are presented at this conference.

“The report and recommendation of the retreat will be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari and the implementation at the state level will start immediately in the next one week after the resolution of this retreat”

“What it portends is that the judiciary will be able to deliver the judgement without fear or favour and that their allocation will not be released to them or their salaries will not be paid, the court will not be renovated, or the chief judge will be removed or any judge will be removed. And the legislature will be able to legislate without fear that the government will have a hold on them in terms of withholding their allocation. Because, money due to the judiciary will go to the account of the judiciary directly and money due to the legislature will go to the account of the legislature directly.

“Finally, it is intended to ensure that money for the judiciary is not spent for the judiciary or on the judiciary but it is spent by the judiciary for the judiciary and on the judiciary and the same goes for the legislature”, Enang said.


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