The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) said on Monday that implementation of financial autonomy for state Houses of Assembly and judiciary would begin from May 2021.
The chairman of the NGF and governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, shared this information after a meeting of chaired stakeholders by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He said the NGF has never been against the issue of financial autonomy, stressing that governors, speakers, and judges share common ground on the issue.
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He said it was agreed at a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation and the representatives of the judiciary and Conference of Speakers that the implementation of the financial autonomy should begin by May.
“NGF is here for legislative and judicial autonomy and the governors, the speakers and the judges are on the same ground, as far as this issue is concerned.
“We just concluded from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and House of Representatives and we are on all fours. An agreement has been reached.
“First, the issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state Assemblies.
“So, that issue has been fully addressed, but we don’t just want to agree to something just on paper without working out the modalities for implementation.
Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the Chief of Staff to the President chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties,” he said.
Asked to put a time frame to the implementation of the autonomy, the NGF chairman said: “As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation. We’re not going to put a time frame in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely no later than the end of May 2021.”
He appealed to the striking judiciary workers to return to work in the interest of the nation.
“In the interest of the nation, we believe that the striking workers should return to their offices because as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned, the President, through the Chief of Staff, has also been observing what has been happening and I think we’re basically at a position where whether you speak to the Conference of Speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the Solicitor-General of the Federation, you will hear that we’re speaking with one voice on the implementation and no later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we’ve reached,” he said.