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Financial autonomy for state assemblies suspended after Buhari’s meeting with governors

President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended the gazetting of the executive order which he recently signed to grant financial autonomy to state assemblies and judiciary.

Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti and chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), disclosed this to state house correspondents in Abuja on Monday.

Speaking after a meeting the governors had with chief of staff to the president and some ministers, Fayemi said the president suspended the implementation of the order over the governors’ concerns.

The governors had expressed reservations over the order which Buhari signed to make the state legislature and judiciary more independent by ensuring their finances get directly to them.

Fayemi said after listening to their concerns about the constitutionality of the new order, the president agreed that the gazetting of the order would be delayed pending further consultations.

“We have a delegation of the governors’ forum here to discuss some matters of fundamental importance to the nation and the president has asked that we meet with the attorney general, the chief of staff, and the minister of finance planning and budget on the issue.

“It is an issue that has seized the interest of many of you in the media and a lot of people in the federation, it is about the autonomy of the state legislature and the judiciary and we’ve met with the president before now on it and the president was very pleased that for us as governors, we are all united in support of the autonomy of state judiciary and the legislature; that’s the position of the 36 Governors of the federation.

“What is at issue is on the constitutionality of the modalities of what had been put in the executive order and the president was gracious enough to say ‘okay, given your concerns about that, we will delay the gazetting of the order and allow you meet with the attorney general and the minister of finance to work out the modalities.”

Fayemi added that the governors have also been consulting with speakers of state assemblies “and we believe that all of that would be settled amicably without any resort to court.”

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