Governors of the 36 States have resolved to engage with the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in order to reflect on the implications of the recently passed Executive Order 10, 2020 on governance at the Sub-National level.
As a result of this, they have asked its Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Legal Committee, comprising the Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto; Simon Lalong of Plateau; and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo to engage with the minister on the matter.
This was contained in a communiqe released on Thursday and signed by NGF chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, at the end of the governors’ 9th teleconference meeting since the lockdown that resulted from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday signed the order that granted financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.
President Buhari said he signed the order based on his powers from Sections 5 and 121(3) of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution 1999 in a statement signed by Dr Umar Gwandu,
the media aide to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The order was sig/ned months after the President assented to the Fourth Constitution Alteration Bill passed by the Eighth Assembly; granting financial autonomy and independence to state legislature and judiciary.
The order, which directed the Accountant-General of the Federation to give effect to the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution signed in 2018, was a product of the outcome of the implementation committee on financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary set up by the president.
The committee had the mandate to ensure the implementation of the financial autonomy in line with section 121(3) of the constitution as amended.
The NGF chairman briefed State Governors on coordination activities with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) targeted at improving the COVID-19 response of State governments.
The governors also received brief from Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Nigeria on the $1billion COVID-19 crisis facility and update from Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO of The Aliko Dangote Foundation on activities of the CACOVID.
Thereafter, the governors also 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.
They also agreed to continue engagements with CACOVID to consolidate interventions on the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians who had lost their means of livelihood as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
They also endorsed the development of a 3-month plan on reopening the economy by the National Executive Council (NEC) Sub-Committee that will interface with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 comprising the Governors of Delta (Chairman), Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The governors also agreed to interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, to incorporate the contributions of State governments in the Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The interface would be done through the NEC Ad-Hoc Sub-Committee on COVID-19 comprising the Governors of Kaduna (Chairman), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo, and Jigawa.