Nigeria: Governors Send Delegation to AGF Over State Legislature, Judiciary Autonomy

Governors of the 36 states have resolved to engage with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) to reflect on the implications of the recently passed Executive Order 10, 2020, on governance at the sub-national level.

As a result of this, they have asked the Legal Committee of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), comprising the Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) to engage with the minister on the matter.

This was contained in a communique signed by the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, at the end of the governors' 9th teleconference since the lockdown that resulted from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday signed the order that grants financial autonomy to state legislature and judiciary. Mixed reactions have continued to trail the presidential order.

Also, during the meeting, the NGF chairman briefed his colleagues on coordination activities with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners and the private sector through the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), targeted at improving the COVID-19 response of state governments.

The governors also received a brief from Ebrima Faal, Senior Director of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Nigeria, on the $1bn COVID-19 crisis facility, and an update from Zouera Youssoufou, Managing Director and CEO of Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF) on the activities of CACOVID.

Thereafter, the governors also resolved to interface with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the $1bn COVID-19 crisis facility approved for the country at the request of the Federal Government by AfDB, to embark on the delivery of projects that will meet the needs of Nigerians during the pandemic in areas like health emergency assistance, agriculture and food security.

They also agreed to continue engagements with CACOVID to consolidate interventions on the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians who had lost their means of livelihood as a result of the pandemic.

They also endorsed the development of a three-month plan on reopening the economy by the National Executive Council (NEC) sub-committee that will interface with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 comprising the Governors of Delta (chairman), Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Kano, Bauchi, Plateau and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The governors also agreed to interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to incorporate the contributions of state governments in the Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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