By Harry Awurumibe, Editor, Abuja Bureau
The striking judiciary workers and their counterparts in the legislative arm of government may go back to their duty posts as the information has emerged that the implementation of the financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislature will commence not later than the end of May, 2021.
This cheering news was disclosed Monday by the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi who is also the Governor of Ekiti state while briefing State House Correspondents at Presidential Villa, Abuja after a meeting of stakeholders on financial autonomy for the Judiciary and Legislature held at the Office of Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.
The interview with journalists went thus:
Why hasn’t been a statement from the NGF on it?
“It’s because for us, this is not an issue that requires a statement from the governors. The Honourable Minister of Finance has dealt with it and the issue is out there for you to deal with.
But for us we’re here for legislative and judicial autonomy and the governors, the speakers and the judges are on the same page, as far as this issue is concerned.
We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and House of Representatives and we are on all fours. An agreement has been reached.
First, the issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies, as a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state Assemblies.
So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed, but we don’t just want to agree to something on paper without working out the modalities for implementation. Thankfully, the meeting we have just emerged from, with the Chief of Staff to the President chairing, has worked out the modalities to the satisfaction of all parties.
When are we expecting the implementation?
“As soon as the final document that is being cleaned up emerges, that is preparatory to implementation. We’re not going to put a timeframe in the air, but it will be implemented as soon as possible, definitely no later than the end of May 2021.
What do you say to judicial workers?
In the interest of the nation, we believe that the striking workers should return to their offices because as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned, the President, through the Chief of Staff, has also been seized of this matter and has been monitoring what has been happening and I think we’re basically at a position where whether you speak to the Conference of Speakers’ chairperson or you speak to me or you speak to the representative of the judiciary or you speak to the Solicitor-General of the Federation, you will hear that we’re speaking with one voice on the implementation and no later than May, you will start seeing the implementation of the agreement that we’ve reached. Thank you