Governors to Meet AGF over Financial Autonomy for States’ Legislature, Judiciary

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Dr Kayode Fayemi

Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The governors of the 36 states of the federation have resolved to dialogue with the federal government over President Muhammadu Buhari’s Executive Order 10, 2020, which seeks to compel the implementation of financial autonomy for states’ legislature and judiciary.

In a communiqué yesterday by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governors also resolved to endorse the development of a three-month plan on the reopening of the economy by the National Economic Council (NEC) Sub-committee that would interface with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

In the communiqué, the governors said: “Through the NGF Legal Committee comprising the Governors of Sokoto, Plateau and Ondo states will engage with the Attorney-General of the Federation to reflect on the implications of the recently passed Executive Order 10, 2020 on governance at the sub-national level.”

In Executive Order 10, Buhari had directed that all monies due to the states’ judiciary and legislature be deducted from the Federation Account as a first-line charge and credited to their accounts should come governors fail to comply.

Other issues discussed at the meeting by the governors include deliberation on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

According to the communiqué, Fayemi briefed his colleagues on the coordination of activities with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) that are targeted at improving the COVID-19 response of state governments.
The communiqué said: “We received brief from Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Nigeria on the $1 billion COVID-19 crisis facility and update from Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation on activities of the CACOVID.”

It said NGF thereafter resolved to “interface with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the $1 billion COVID-19 crisis facility approved for the country at the request of the federal government by the African Development Bank (AfDB), to embark on the delivery of projects that will meet the needs of Nigerians during this period, in such areas as health emergency assistance, agriculture, and food security.”

It added that the meeting resolved to continue engagements with CACOVID to consolidate interventions on the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians who have lost their means of livelihood as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The governors also resolved to endorse the development of a three-month plan on reopening of the economy by NEC sub-committee that would interface with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

NEC sub-committee comprises the governors of Delta (chairman), Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau states and the FCT Minister.

The governors, through the NEC Ad-hoc Sub-Committee on COVID-19 comprising the governors of Kaduna (Chairman), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo, and Jigawa states, would interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to incorporate the contributions of state governments into the Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.