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Governors Agree On Debt Reduction, Judicial, Legislature Autonomy

Governors have agreed to grant autonomy to the Legislature and the Judiciary.

This is in line with Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

They however, gave two conditions to smoothen the implementation of the decisions. These are: Immediate termination of the ongoing strike by judicial workers and the disbandment of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary.

The governors said ending the strike would enable states to fine tune the legal framework to back the decisions.

They accused the Autonomy Committee of “acting as a permanent committee basically misguiding and overheating the relationship between State Governments and the other arms of government”.

These positions were taken at yesterday’s meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), presided over by its Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.

Other decisions taken at the meeting include the need to achieve debt limit and sustainability as well as support for the full deregulation of the downstream oil sector/withdrawal of subsidy.

The ‘Asaba Declaration’ issued after the Southern governors meeting was not discussed at the parley “because it was not on the agenda,” it was learnt last night.

The Asaba summit endorsed restructuring, national dialogue, total ban on open grazing and review of revenue allocation.

The communique of the meeting, which was signed by Dr. Fayemi, focused on several matters of national concern and how to reduce tension.

The communique reads in part: ”On the Executive Order 10, talks have reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, Conference of Speakers, National Judicial Council and the NGF.

“ All parties are working earnestly to resolve the issues surrounding the implementation of the order.

“ There are however legal aspects of the order that need to be tied up, but which cannot take place if officials responsible for these final processes are on strike.

“ Governors are happy to implement the demands of the Judiciary and the Legislature.”

After considering the report of a committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, they agreed that petrol subsidy was unsustainable.

The communique added: “His Excellency, Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai gave a briefing on the appropriate pricing of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria, calling for full deregulation.” “He noted that between N70billion and N210billion is estimated to be spent every month to keep the PMS price at N162/litre, a situation that is completely unsustainable.”

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