The President Muhammadu Buhari, has signed an Executive Order for the implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary.
Going by the provision of the new Executive Order, in the event of the failure of any state government to release allocations meant for its state legislature or judiciary, the Accountant-General of the Federation will have the power to deduct from source the allocations due to such states in the Federation Accounts, and pay the funds directly to such state legislatures and judiciaries.
According to the Special Assistant, Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr Umar Gwandu, the Executive Order is to give force to the provision of section 121(3) of the Constitution which guarantees the financial autonomy of the legislature and state judiciary.
Already, the federal legislature and judiciary are enjoying financial autonomy in line with constitutional provisions which have made it possible for them to receive their allocations from source.
Gwandu, who disclosed this in a statement on Friday, stated that Buhari signed into law the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary Order, 2020, following the report submitted to him by a Presidential Implementation Committee.
The statement added, “The President signed the Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the state legislature and state judiciary.”
The new Executive Order provides that “The Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this order and any other such orders, regulations or guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, authorise the deduction from source in the course of Federation Accounts Allocation from the money allocated to any state of the federation that fails to release allocation meant for the state legislature and state judiciary in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.