The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has appealed to the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to call off its nationwide strike which has lasted 10 days.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, in May 2020, granted financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary across the 36 states of the country.
JUSUN had embarked on the strike in protest of the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
There is also an ongoing strike by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) seeking to get the federal government to implement financial autonomy for state legislature.
Speaking to journalists after a conference involving the governors and speakers of state assemblies on Thursday, Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto state governor and deputy chairman of the NGF, said all issues will be resolved.
While giving assurance that governors are committed to ensuring financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary, Tambuwal said its implementation has to follow constitutional process.
“We’ve just finished talking to the speakers, and indeed the state chief judges, and the judiciary, to continue to engage. The minister of labour is also engaging with the striking bodies to appeal to them, to appreciate the fact that we have made progress,” he said.
“We are appealing to them in the interest of this country, they should call off the strike.
“We are here with the chairman and leadership of the speakers’ conference, the solicitor-general of the federation, and SSA to Mr President on Niger Delta, who has been a member of the technical committee on the implementation of the autonomy of state legislatures and the judiciary.
“Together with the chief of staff to the president, we have just finished a meeting on how to put finishing touches and dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, on the final implementation of the financial autonomy of the state legislatures and the judiciary.
“We have made reasonable progress and we have agreed, after receiving the final report of the technical committee, to meet on Monday, because of the urgency of the matter and finally, resolve whatever issues are there.
“We are doing whatever it takes to make sure that the issues are resolved. As I told you before, some of the issues are constitutional and when matters have to do with the constitution, you have to be sure of what you’re doing that you’re actually following the Constitution.”
Tambuwal also noted that the process dates back to the eighth assembly, insisting that the governors are in support of financial autonomy.
“From the very beginning, during the eighth assembly, under the leadership of Senate President Bukola Saraki and speaker Dogara, the NGF under Abdulaziz Yari then, met with them and supported the financial autonomy for the state legislatures and the judiciary,” he said.
“And that is why with that support, we were able to achieve the passage of this amendment by the national assembly and the state legislatures across the country.
“So, the governors are unequivocally in support of the autonomy of these institutions.’’