No State Govt’s Will Give An Excuse In Implementing Financial Autonomy – Ubani

 

Former Second Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has said that State Government’s will have no excuse in implementing the recommendations of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

The Presidential Implementation committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary had on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, submitted a report which President Muhammadu Buhari assured that he will study, and take an appropriate decision.

Mr Ubani who was guest on Channels TV breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, stressed that the issue of financial autonomy is a constitutional matter and the Government should also issue a white paper which will be implementable by all the states.

“The committee has made a recommendation on the modalities of operation so if it becomes implementable, no state will give an excuse in implementing because there has been a pronouncement made by the government.

“The government should issue a white paper as an executive order because it is a constitutional issue and there is a provision in the constitution.”

READ ALSO: Osinbajo Discusses Economic Ties With US Vice President Pence

He also stated that the move by the Buhari-led government is a serious one and the implementation has to be obeyed because it is in the law.

“I don’t think the Federal Government has done anything wrong by having a committee that has made a recommendation, if any state government now disobeys, it means the government does not mean well in the first place.

“The guarantee is that it will be made as a pronouncement; it has to be obeyed because it is in the law and the law must be obeyed.

“I think the FG is trying to do the right thing; they started with the NFIU directive, state policing and now its financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislative assembly so that we can have good governance because the overall objectives are that people must feel the presence of government at every tier.”

Financial Autonomy: Buhari Promises To Stabilise State Legislature, Judiciary

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration will ensure a strengthened and stabilised democratic system in Nigeria.

He made this known when the Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary submitted a report on Tuesday.

According to a statement by Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari added that this government is making efforts to ensure autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary so citizens can be guaranteed fairness.

“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.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Buhari Receives Delegation Of Govt, People Of Nasarawa

He assured that the government will study the report and recommendations, and take an appropriate decision.

“We must ensure that trust is not compromised. This administration will take the report seriously,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Committee, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said that implementation of the recommendations will entrench constitutionalism, democratic principles, and separation of powers.

“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.”

He said the committee consulted with state governors, Chief Judges of states, Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Civil Society Organizations and relevant stakeholders, including members of the public to come up with the recommendations.

Buhari Grants Financial Autonomy To State Judiciaries, Houses Of Assembly

Our Goal Is To Unite Nigerians In A Mutually Beneficial Relationship – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has granted financial autonomy to state judiciaries and Houses of Assembly.

The President also signed a total of four bills into law as part of the amendments of the 1999 Constitution.

One of the bills which is now an Act, gives the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), sufficient time to conduct bye-elections, increasing the time from seven to 21 days, which widens the scope of INEC to handle election matters upon a vacancy.

READ ALSO: Why We Are Accepting GCON Title For Gani Fawehinmi – Son

The Presidential Liaison Officer To The National Assembly, Senator Ita Enang told journalists in Abuja on Friday that another bill No 16 which is now an Act, is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds the president and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than once after the initial tenure.

The fourth Act which became a law today is constitution number 21 relating to the determination of pre-election matters, reducing the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that the matters extend into the time for elections neither does it pend thereafter.

These four bills in addition to the recently signed “Not Too Young To Run Bill” into law brings the total number of bills assented to by the president, to five.

ACF Urges State Governments To Grant Autonomy To LGAs

Boko Haram-arewaThe Board of Trustees (BOT) of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged state governments in Nigeria to grant total financial autonomy to the Local Governments by giving them free hand to manage the federal allocations that are channeled to them.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Mallam Adamu Fika, at the end of its meeting in Kaduna on Wednesday, the forum explained that the granting of financial autonomy to the Local Governments will enable them execute projects that have direct bearing on the welfare and development of the people, rather than the use of joint accounts that have in most cases become a conduit pipe for misapplication and abuse of state funds.

While advising the various state governments to respect the constitutional autonomy of the Local Government Councils, the Forum stressed that such autonomy will boost economic activities and generate employment opportunities, especially at the grassroots level.

The ACF also called on all tiers of government to address the issue of payment of back log of domestic debts, especially those owed to local contractors, workers and pensioners emoluments, which will equally revive the economic activities.

It also commended the steps taken by the Federal Government to investigate and repatriate stolen public funds, describing it as not only appropriate and timely, but will also sanitize the system and revive prudence and discipline in the conduct of public officers.

The ACF, while commending the effort of the Federal Government in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east, expressed optimism that the success being recorded by the military and other security agencies in combating insurgency in the northeast is as a result of the support and encouragement from the Federal Government and the determination of the field commanders to end the insurgency within the time frame given by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Legal Year: Lagos Not Opposed To Judiciary Financial Autonomy – Ipaye

Legal yearThe Lagos State Judiciary held its 2014/2015 Legal Year Ceremony with simultaneous services at the church and mosque.

The Cathedral Church at Marina, Lagos Island, played host to the Chief Judge, other judges and magistrates, lawyers and guests who came to celebrate with the judiciary.

The clergy advised the judiciary to always seek divine wisdom from God in the discharge of their duties.

It was a similar scene at the Central Mosque also on Lagos Island where judges, magistrates and guests of the Muslim faith also held a thanksgiving service.

The State Government, through it’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, appealed to judicial workers in the state to shelve their proposed strike as full financial autonomy for the sector was not yet feasible.

He, however, assured the judicial workers that the State Government was not opposed to the financial autonomy of the State judiciary.

The Legal Year celebrations ended with a colourful parade and inspection of guards by the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Olufunmilayo Atilade.

Creation of state police can lead to separation of Nigeria-Police reform committee

Despite the myriad of calls for the creation of state police to address the lingering insecurity in parts of the country, the presidential committee on the re-organisation of the Nigerian Police Force has warned against the establishment of state police in Nigeria, warning that it can lead to the separation of the country. 

The committee while submitting its report to President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, called for reforms in the way the Nigerian Police Force is funded, which should involve the three tiers of government.

Chaired by former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Parry Osayande, the committee in its report stated that granting the Nigerian Police Force financial autonomy and reforming the National Police Council will annul the clamour for the creation of state police.

“A stronger and more efficient National Police Council with effective participation of state governors; financial autonomy and better professionalism for the police will cancel demands for state police” stated Mr Osayande.

According to him, “state governments would not be able to fund state police, apart from the fact that such a move will lead to eventual break up of Nigeria” he said.

He instead advocated a funding structure for the police by all tiers of government.

“The constitution provides a trilateral arrangement for organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Council, the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police” Osayande stated to explain the suggested funding by the three tiers of government.


Irrelevant Ministry

The committee also recommended that the Ministry of Police Affairs should be done away with because of its irrelevance.

Noting that the Ministry of Police Affairs has no particular assigned role in the amended 1999 Constitution, the committee spotted that the Ministry is neither in charge of police administration which is assigned to the police council, nor in charge of operations which is assigned to the Inspector-General of Police nor in charge of appointment, discipline and promotion which is assigned to the Police Service Commission and described it as anomalous.

Budget of corruption

On funding, the Osayande committee’s report noted that since policing is a capital intensive venture, its satisfactory funding cannot be met through mere federal budgetary allocation.

“The committee thus supports the recommendation of the M.D. Yusuf 2008 committee on the reform of the Nigeria police that police should henceforth be jointly funded by the three-tiers of government” the report stated.

The committee also enjoined the federal government to let the police draw its budget on its need rather than the Ministry of Finance.

Recommending that the police be empowered to determine its priorities, draw its budget based on its needs and be held accountable for the use of such funds, the committee added that the “envelope system” of budgeting for the police whereby the Ministry of Finance provides a budget template encourages corruption.

The Governors Forum is currently divided over calls for state police in the on-going Constitution Amendment by the National Assembly.

Governors from the northern part of the country recently kicked against the call, sighting difficulties in funding the state police whilst their southern counterparts have mounted increasing calls for the reforms.

The Presidential Committee on the re-organisation of the Nigerian Police Force was inaugurated on the 17th of February, when they were tasked to identify challenges and factors against effective performance in the police and recommend how the challenges can be addressed.