The Federal Government has revealed a date for the implementation of financial autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary.
According to the FG, the implementation will begin next week.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige who disclosed this late on Thursday night after a conciliation meeting to resolve the strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, said the Presidential Implementation Committee shall give a biweekly appraisal and follow-up.
The meeting which started after a stormy session with the Kaduna State Government and the NLC ended with the adoption and signing of a Memorandum Of Action, MOA named; “Implementation of Financial Autonomy for the State Legislature and Judiciary.
In the M.O.A., the ongoing JUSUN and PASAN strike are predicated on when the April FAAC to states is expected to start dropping from Monday, May 24, 2021, noting that Governors had studied the document and were in agreement with it.
The parties agreed that there shall also be established in each state, the State Account Allocation Committee, SAAC to be given legislative backing in the various Fund Management Laws and charged with the responsibility to oversee the distribution of available resources to each arm of government. Membership is to reflect the template of the FAAC.
The meeting agreed every State Commissioner of Finance and State Accountant-General shall on a monthly basis furnish the Committee with the revenue performance of the State within a stipulated timeline not exceeding 7 days after each FAAC meeting. Based on the revenue receipt, evaluations, and the needs of each arm, the Committee shall work out an appropriate budget release based on the Appropriation for each Arm of Government for that year.
The meeting also agreed that whatever comes from FAAC, even the state governments yet to put their fund allocation committees in place, would have to do so, to ensure that the money goes to the appropriate account.
Parties further agreed that the Government of the respective States shall credit the Accounts of each State House of Assembly and each State Judiciary with the pro-rata amount due each of the two arms of Government under the 2021 Appropriation for each State in accordance with Section B (iii) of the Memorandum of Action beginning from April 2021 State Allocation from the State Consolidated Revenue Fund, CRF as a sign of good faith.
Furthermore, Section B(iii) in reference says “whenever there is a revenue shortfall, lower than the budgeted fund, the monthly allocations to each arm of government shall reflect a percentage of the appropriated sum or an irreducible minimum amount to be allocated every month for the purpose of meeting its costs whichever is higher.
This percentage was agreed to reflect as 100% in Personnel Cost and the Running Cost and Capital Cost will be pro-rata of Revenue performance as per the State Appropriation Law.
The meeting added that annually, upon the determination of budget ceilings or envelopes from the Budget Committee of the State, anchored by the Budget Office of the State headed by the Commissioner in charge, each arm of government; Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, acting through its own Budget and or Funds Management Committee, shall prepare its Budget Estimates or Details and submit same to the State House of Assembly.
The Secretary of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Autonomy of the Judiciary and Legislature and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Nigeria Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang said the committee expects both JUSUN and PASAN to call off its prolonged strike as soon as implementation starts.
Meanwhile, JUSUN Deputy President, Emmanuel Abioye, who spoke on behalf of the unions said they have agreed in principles to the agreement, but remains on strike until implementation is effected from next week according to the Memorandum Of Action reached.