The Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy for Judiciary and Legislature, has tasked governors to comply with the Executive Order 10.
According to the committee this would enable effective implementation of the financial autonomy of states’ Legislature and Judiciary guaranteed by the Executive Order 10.
The Committee’s Secretary, Sen. Ita Enang stated this on Sunday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja.
Enang, who is also the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, posited that the financial autonomy would speed up development and promote financial accountability at states level.
He noted that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria’s democracy today was wastage at the state level, hence the need to address it.
According to him, the Executive Order 10 would guarantee financial transparency in states.
He pointed out that one important feature of the financial autonomy is that all the three arms of government would prepare their budget together; they would know what the state government has and what it does not have.
His words: “In the budgeting process, they will know how much each of the arms of government will use in settling salaries and allowances of the legislators, paying their aids, legislative staff and office maintenance, among others.
“The governors will no longer be responsible for their expenses, it will also make the house of assembly responsive.
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“So, what the president is doing is to ensure that each state house of assembly is independent not for the purpose of attacking the governors but for the purpose of checking the executive and making government more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people, and development will be faster.
“The governors will know that the judiciary is independent and same with the legislature, these arms of the government need not get approval from the governors in order to execute their respective duties.”
Enang pointed out that the provision stipulated that the governors upon receipt of money due to any arm of government in the consolidated revenue fund of the state from the federation account and internally generated revenue, should remit same to the respective arms, adding; “But where any governor fails to remit the money due to the arms, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) will deduct that amount standing to the credit of that state in the federation account and remit directly to arms concerned.
“It is important to emphasise that this deduction is not the first line action, but it is only applicable when one arm of the government is oppressed.
“We are confident that none of the 36 states will in any manner deprive their state legislature or judiciary of the fund that is due to them.
“The implementation committee will be very conciliatory and respectful of the powers of each arm of government at the states level and the powers and privileges of the governors.”
He, therefore, advised that all the arms of government at state levels should ensure they followed the practice that had been at the federal level for proper accountability.