State governors have fallen short of the expected compliance in financial autonomy to their respective judiciary and legislature.
This was contained in a communique at the end of a two-day retreat on strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy of state legislature and state judiciary organised by Presidential Implementation Committee on Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary, held last week, in Abuja.
The communique was signed by 21 of the stakeholders including the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and Chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Secretary, Presidential Implementation Committee, and Presidential Liaison to the National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.
The panel noted there are various levels of minimal compliance in various States but all fell short of the expected compliance, “as budget performance across 36 states of the federation show that whilst the least allocations to the state judiciary, in the last three years, was 0.6 percent of the budget of the entire state, the highest allocation was 4.89 percent and therefore urge the Governors as the Heads of the Executive Arm of Government to begin full implementation of the financial autonomy granted the Legislature and the Judiciary.”
The governors were advised to adopt “the budgeting model operating at the federal level where the sum due to the judiciary and the legislature are captured as First Line Charge in the budget laid before and passed by the legislature.”
Regardless, President of the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) in Niger State, Comrade Idris Lafene, has opened up on how governors tamper with joint accounts with councils.
He told newsmen in Minna, capital of Niger State, yesterday, that state governors always come up with ideas of phony projects which they compel councils to buy into while state governments disburse the supposed contract sums.
He also claimed that state governments often compel councils to provide office accommodation for their agencies and those of the federal government located in a host local government area, while also forcing the affected council to partake and most times, even fund their programmes.