Governors, legislators, judiciary agree pact on financial autonomy

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An agreement has been reached among the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Conference of Speakers and other stakeholders on the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislatures and judiciaries.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of the forum, revealed this to State House Correspondents on Monday, at the end of a meeting chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Fayemi said the agreement was being fine-tuned and its implementation would commence next month.

“We are here for legislative and judicial autonomy and Governors, Speakers of State Assemblies and the Judges of the States are on the same page as far as this issue is concerned.

“We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary and those of the Conference of Speakers and we are in all force; an agreement has been reached.

“The issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from Governors on judicial and legislative autonomy; as a matter of fact, it would not have passed if Governors were not in support in the first instance. So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed,” he said.

Dr Fayemi noted modalities are being fine-tuned and the implementation of the agreement would begin in May.

He said: “We don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation, thankfully, the meeting we just emerged from with the Chief of Staff to the President chairing, has worked out the modalities, to the satisfaction of all the parties.

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“As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, it will be implemented as soon as possible and that will be definitely not later than the end of May.”

He therefore, called on striking judiciary workers to call off and resume 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 and the President, through his Chief of Staff has been monitoring what has been happening.

“And I think we are reasonably 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 the Solicitor General of the Federation, you will hear that we are speaking with one voice on the implementation and no later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we have reached,” Fayemi added.

Those who attended the meeting included Governors Bagudu Atiku of Kebbi, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Simon Lalong of Plateau,

Others were the Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Akpata, as well as the leadership of the Conference of Speakers of States Legislature and that of States Judiciary.

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