Sanwo-Olu Swears in Eight High Court Judges

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Segun James

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stated that the battle against the COVID 19 pandemic should not be allowed to slow down the justice system in the state.

The governor stated this while swearing in eight high court judges in the state judiciary, adding that members of the judicial arm of government have a duty to keep the wheel of justice administration turning in a critical time of the disease.

Sanwo-Olu said the continuity of judicial services in the period of public health emergency remains vital to boosting people’s confidence in the administration of justice system and to ensure adequate enforcement of regulations initiated to stop the spread of the pandemic.

According to him, “This chamber we are holding the swearing-in ceremony has just been opened for the first time in the last two months. This is the reality of the global coronavirus pandemic, which has evolved new culture in our interactions at homes and offices.

“In this period of public health emergency, we need the judiciary to keep the wheel of the justice system moving. The administration of justice system must not be halted because of the health crisis. Our judicial should fully adapt to the evolving culture and be at the services of those who seek redress and justice at the court.

“I have no doubt that the Lagos State judiciary under the leadership of Justice Kazeem Alogba, will be an arm of government that we can continue to rely on as a partner in boosting people’s confidence in the government and the justice system.”

The governor said judges earned their nominations and appointments to the high court of the state based on their sterling credentials and experience in the respective areas of engagement.

He charged them to dispense justice without fear or favour, advising them not to soil their hard-earned reputation and families’ names in the course of discharging their duties.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Having gone through your resumes, I know you have all distinguished yourselves in the legal profession, and we expect that you are bringing your years of experience and service to bear. We are convinced that this journey would raise the standards of our judicial service.

“I congratulate our newly sworn-in honorable justices, and we believe you all have what it takes to be fair and equitable in the dispensation of justice to our citizens. By being sworn in as judges, you have brought honour to your family names. However, you must ensure that your names are not tarnished in the course of discharging your duty.”

The governor thanked the National Judicial Council (NJC) for the painstaking vetting of the appointed judges’ credentials, noting that he was convinced that quality and calibre of the new judges would improve judicial process in the state.

DMO Releases Borrowing Guidelines for FG, States, Others

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Debt Management Office (DMO) last night released the 2020 Revised External and Domestic Borrowing Guidelines for the federal and state governments, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as their agencies.

The guidelines, which stipulate how the various tiers of government can secure domestic and external borrowings, were derived from the provisions in the existing legislations, and approved documentations, notably the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Debt Management Office (Establishment, Etc.) Act, 2003; the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007; Investments and Securities Act, 2007, and the Fiscal Sustainability Plan: Fiscal Framework for Sub-National Governments in Nigeria.

The DMO explained in the introductory note of the guidelines pasted on its website last night that given the new developments in the fiscal operations of government over the years, especially in the area of public debt management, it became imperative to review and update the 2012 edition of the borrowing guidelines.

According to the new guidelines, to borrow externally, the federal government and its agencies are required to prepare a National Debt Management

Strategy for the approval of the Federal

Executive Council (FEC).

This is to be handled by the DMO in collaboration with relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Projects to be funded are also to be identified with the preparation of proposed borrowing requests to be submitted to the finance minister.

Such requests are to include documents on the projects to be funded, consistent with national development priorities and ‘Creditor’s Partnership Strategies.’

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is also required to collate requests for funding and conduct appraisal of projects to be financed with

the borrowing to ascertain conformity with ‘National Priorities, Cost-Benefit Analysis showing the economic and social benefits of the intended borrowing.

The ministry, in collaboration with the Budget Office of the Federation is also required to prepare an annual budget, which specifies the financing gap, and the amount to be borrowed.

This is followed by the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and presentation to the National

Assembly.

The ministry is also to obtain Resolution for External Borrowing from the National Assembly just as the minister is mandated to provide guarantee on behalf of any government in the Federation for external

borrowing after approval by the parliament.

The guidelines also stipulate that the external borrowing proposals of the state governments, FCT and their agencies for the next fiscal year, must be submitted not later than four months preceding that year to the minister for incorporation into the Medium-Term External Borrowing Plan.

All States and the FCT, wishing to contract External Loans must secure the approval of the State Executive Council or the FCT Executive Committee, for the Borrowing Proposal which should include the amount, purpose of the loan and the repayment plans, including source of repayment for the loan.

The approval of the State Executive Council should also be evidenced in writing and duly signed by the Secretary to the State Government.

In addition, the Resolution of the State House of Assembly, duly signed by the Clerk should be provided. In the case of the FCT, the approval by the

Executive Committee duly signed by the Secretary and FCT Minister.

States and FCT are equally to ensure that their total

loans, including the proposed loan, do not exceed 250 per cent of their total revenue for the preceding year.

The borrowing proposal must be submitted to

the minister for consideration, the guidelines added, stressing that the proposal should include the purpose for which the Borrowing is intended and its link to the developmental agenda of the government; cost-benefit analysis showing the economic and social benefits of the

intended borrowing as well as cashflow projection of the project to ascertain its viability and sustainability, among other requirements.