By Idowu Abdullahi,
The Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, Mudashiru Obasa, has expressed optimism that the approval of financial autonomy granted its members by President Muhammadu Buhari, will bolstered the performance and cement the independence of their members across the nation.
He explained that the approval will free the state legislatures from the repressive posturing of state governors in the country as concentration will now be focused on the task of lawmaking without fear of blacklash from governors across the nation.
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.
While commending the President’s action, Obasa, who doubled as the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, said the bold move was a masterstroke for states legislatures emancipation in the country.
The Chairman, through a statement released to newsmen on Saturday maintained that the ripple effects of the President’s action, which will transcend his administration will be felt future generations of Nigerians.
“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.
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) 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.