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Buhari to sign executive order of financial autonomy for state legislature, judiciary

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has received the report of financial autonomy for state legislative and judiciary arms from the committee headed by Abubakar Malami, immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

It remains for Buhari to sign an executive order to give effect to the implementation of the law which constitutionally established the independence of the two arms of the state government, based on the recommendation of the report.

When it is signed, the 36-state judiciary and legislative arms of the government in Nigeria will directly access funds to their credit, and no longer through the governors.

The presentation of the presidential committee was done on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja, the Country’s state capital. The committee was set up after Buhari assented to the constitutional amendment that seeks the financial autonomy of the state arms of governments in June 2018.  Officially inaugurated in March, Buhari had given the team three months to submit the report.

Addressing the journalists after the submission, Malami said “arising from the position of the president relating to the deepening of democracy, relating to upholding the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, within the context of governance, Mr President had sometimes back in March, 2019, precisely, put in place a committee, The Nation reported.

“So, today, the committee has concluded its assignment substantially by way of making available to the President, an interim report indicating the modalities this should follow with due observance of the provisions of section 121 and due observance of the sustenance of the independence of the States Legislature and Judiciary.”

He said the committee has recommended the signing of Executive Order by Buhari for the immediate take-off of the implementation of the autonomy for states legislature and the judiciary.

“The recommendations clearly spell out that if uniform modules for implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislature and state judiciary are approved for implementation across 36 states, it will no doubt strengthen Nigeria’s democratic principles, practices and public governance,’’ Malami said.

Responding to the committee report, Buhari said the government would study the report and recommendations, and take an appropriate decision, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity.

“I went through a terrible time getting here for the three times I contested elections. That’s why I want to stabilise the system so that others will not pass through the same experience,”

“Both young and ordinary Nigerians depend on leadership to ensure justice is always done. So we must ensure that trust is not compromised. This administration will take the report seriously,’’ he added.

The Nigerian state governors had also pledged for the full implementation of their legislatures and judiciaries to ensure transparency and openness in governance in May during a two-day Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) in Abuja.

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