Governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have bought into the idea of financial autonomy for States legislatures and judiciary, which according to them will ensure sustainable democracy in Nigeria, apart from ensuring highest level of transparency and openness in governance.
Chairman of NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, who gave the assurance at the opening of a two-day conference on the implementation of autonomy of state legislature and state judiciary in Abuja today, Thursday, said that the governors will work with the federal government to achieve the implementation strategy and ultimately ensure full autonomy of the legislature and judiciary at sub-national levels.
Governor Yari, who was represented by the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, said that Nigeria’s democracy is now 20 years old and needed to be smoothened through proper financial accountability at all level of government, even as he commended Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s focus in ensuring that the new dispensation will take the country to the Promised Land.
The Governor said: “I totally aligned with the motion that the legislature and judiciary autonomy are necessary precondition for an enduring democracy. This enhances efficiency, transparency and accountability in government. May I also assure you that the state governors are collectively committed to the enthronement of a strong and viral democracy in Nigeria and would work with the federal government to achieve the National implementation strategy and ultimately ensure full autonomy of the legislature and judiciary at sub-national levels.
“The NGF fully supports Mr. President reform agenda and share its passion for transparency and zero corruption. We commend the efforts of the committee in putting together this very decisive conference to see that Nigeria attends the highest level of transparency and openness in governance.”
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, commended President Buhari for his assent to the bill, noting that autonomy is central to the practice of democracy especially separation of powers
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu said that local government areas need to be strengthened and asked State Houses of Assemblies to act fast on the matter.
He also reiterated the need for State Police, even as he expressed gratitude to the federal government for its interest in the implementation of the law.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters (Senate) who is also the Secretary of the panel, Ita Enang, commended the those who attended the conference.
“We are impressed by the attendant. Out of 36 states, 34 of the chief judges of the federation are here, and 31 speakers are also here in person while the rest of them are presented at this conference.
“The report and recommendation of the retreat will be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari and the implementation at the state level will start immediately in the next one week after the resolution of this retreat.”