States Governors are pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari to pull the brakes on the execution of the controversial guidelines on local government funds.
They are urging the President to call the Nigerian Financial
Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to order because; the guidelines are in violation of the 1999 Constitution, according to the governors.
They believe NFIU is stoking mischief and seeking to cause what they called “disaffection”, and “overheat the polity”.
Also removed from governors’ control are statutory allocations to Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary It was learnt last night that the governors is planning go to court if the NFIU remains immovable on its point.
Directive issued yesterday, the government, said it had abolished
warehousing by governors of capital and recurrent budgets of the Assembly and the Judiciary. the Judiciary and the Legislature henceforth, will be on first row charge.
On May 15, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) Chairman Abdulaziz Yari, , send a letter to the President, titled ”Re: NFIU Enforcement and Guidelines to Reduce Crime Vulnerabilities Created by Cash Withdrawal from Local Government Funds Throughout Nigeria Effective June 1st, 2019″, stated the Governors stand.
The letter send to Mr President said : “The attention of the Nigeria
Governors Forum(NGF) has been called to certain Guidelines on the above subject recently released by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and purportedly said to become operational effective 1st June 2019
“The NGF wishes to utter i and angst at the attempt to ridicule our
collective integrity and show total disregard to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria(1999) as amended.
“We kindly invite Mr. President to note Section 7(6) (a) and (b) of
the Constitution which confers on the National Assembly and the State House of
Assembly, the powers to make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to the local councils in the Federation and within the State respectfully.
“Similarly, Section 162(6) of the Constitution expressly provides for the creation of the State Joint Local Government Account (SJLGA) into which shall be paid all allocations to the LGAs of the state from the Federation Account and from the government of the state.
“Section 162(7) of the Constitution goes on to confer on the National Assembly the power to prescribe the terms and manners in which funds from the SJLGA may be disbursed and in subsection 8, the Constitution empowers the State House of Assembly to prescribe the manner in which the amount standing to the credit oaf the local councils in the state shall be distributed. The governors are pushing for NFIU directives on local government funds to be retrieved.
We respectively attach relevant sections of the Constitution, “Nothing in the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit Act 2018 gives the NFIU the powers that it seeks to exercise in the recently released Guidelines and in doing this, the Unit has acted in surplus of its powers and incomplete disregard to the constitution of the country.