Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have thrown their weight behind the implementation of financial autonomy for states’ legislature and judiciary, to ensure Nigeria attains high level transparency in governance.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day conference on the implementation of autonomy of states’ legislature and judiciary in Abuja, chairman of NGF, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, assured of his colleagues’ readiness to partner the federal government to implement the strategy for full autonomy of the legislature and judiciary at sub-national levels.
According to Yari, who was represented by Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi, though Nigeria’s democracy is 20 years old, it has not been a smooth sail.
He, however, commended the current administration’s focus on ensuring that rough as the journey may be, it will surely take us to the promised land.
“I totally align with the motion that autonomy of the legislature and judiciary is necessary pre-condition 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 the president’s reform agenda and shares its passion for transparency and zero tolerance for 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 Muhammadu Buhari for his assent to the bill, noting that autonomy is central to the practice of democracy.
Deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, while noting that councils need to be strengthened, urged state assemblies to act fast.
He also advocated for state police, thanking the federal government for its interest in the implementation of the law.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), who is secretary of the panel, Ita Enang, commended participants at the conference.
“We are impressed by the attendance. 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 represented,” he said.