The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria has described the approval of financial autonomy granted its members by President Muhammadu Buhari as the best Sallah gift from the latter.
The chairman of the Conference of Speakers, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, said this in a statement released on Saturday adding that the body was excited over action of the President.
Buhari had on Friday evening signed an executive order granting financial autonomy to state legislatures and judiciaries months after Speaker Obasa led a team of his colleagues on a visit to the President at the Aso Rock Villa where he made the demand.
The Executive Order 10 signed by Buhari makes it compulsory for the 36 states to always include the allocations of the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
The order also makes it mandatory for the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct the amounts due to state legislature and judiciary from monthly allocations of states that refuse to implement the order.
“No doubt, this order will further make state legislatures independent of the executive arm of their various governments.
“It would also boost healthy competitions among state legislatures in pursuit of advancements and developments.
“This is the best gift the President, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, has given the legislative arms of state governments at this Sallah. And coming at the end of the Ramadan, it means God truly answered the prayers of the member state legislatures through the President,” Obasa, who is a member of the implementation committee on the financial autonomy set up by the President, said.
The committee had the mandate to ensure the implementation of the financial autonomy in line with section 121(3) of the country’s constitution as amended.
While commending the members of the implementation committee for putting in their best and meeting its mandate, Obasa urged the various state beneficiaries of the Executive Order by President Buhari to see it as a further push to unite the country and play roles for its growth, peace and progress.
The Speaker thanked the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) and its committee led by Governor Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State for its support during the events and meetings leading to a final decision of the President.
Obasa also thanked the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, for his roles that eventually resulted in the signing of the order by President Buhari just as he commended his colleagues in the various Houses of Assembly for their steadfastness at all times.