President Muhammadu Buhari has signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary across the 36 states of the country.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said these in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu on Friday.
He explained that the order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.
Mr Malami said the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all states of the federation should include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
According to the AGF, “a Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).”
He said consideration was given to all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations that provided for financial autonomy at the states.
Mr Malami maintained that the implementation of financial autonomy of the state legislature and state judiciary would strengthen the institutions at the states and make them more independent and accountable in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
The statement added that, “The President signed the Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary.”