Govs adopt common template for judiciary, legislature autonomy implementation

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has approved a common template for the implementation of the Memorandum of Action signed with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASUN) on the implementation of financial autonomy for the State legislature and judiciary.

In a communique issued at the end of the Forum’s meeting and signed by NGF’s Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Forum said the template was developed following a meeting of the State Attorneys General and Commissioners of Finance which held on June 25, 2021 at the directive of the Forum.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Forum said it is in full support of the unbundling and commercialization of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) but concerned with the proposed ownership structure of the NNPC which places ownership on the Federal Government.

The NGF recommended that given that the corporation is owned by the three tiers of government, the new incorporated entity (NNPC Limited) should be owned by a vehicle that holds the interest of the three tiers of government – for now, the institution that is positioned to carry out this mandate is the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

“This amendment as well as the proposed 3% share of oil revenue to host communities and 30% share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins will be responded to at relevant channels including the National Assembly and the National Economic Council (NEC).

On the Nigerian Postal Service Bill, 2021 and Stamp Duties Collection, the Forum expressed concern with certain proposed amendments to the Principal Stamp Duties Act by the Senate which seeks to remove the powers to administer and collect stamp duties from the relevant tax authorities (Federal Inland Revenue Service or State Internal Revenue Service, depending on the nature of the transaction) to the Nigeria Postal Service. The provisions of Section 163 of the 1999 Constitution requires that Stamp Duties on transactions between a company and an individual should be paid to the FIRS and returned to the State of derivation. The Forum resolved to engage with the National Assembly on the matter.

On the Sale of Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) Assets, the NGF said it would take a position on the planned privatization of assets of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) which were listed by the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) without due consultation with state governments who are shareholders of the company.

On the launch of the NGF Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative, the Forum said the launch of PISI which took place on 8th July 2021 heralded an important milestone for NGF as it seeks to build a more inclusive and collaborative platform to drive an urgent country-wide response to security challenges in the country.

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By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye,
The Sun

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