Autonomy for all arms of government key to building democracy —Lalong
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, says the implementation of full financial autonomy for the executive, legislative and judiciary arms of government is critical for promoting democracy and development in the state.
The Governor made this known in Jos on Tuesday when he received the report of the State Accounts Allocation Committee (SAAC) which provided the framework and final negotiations that led to the adoption of the modalities for implementing autonomy in the state.
Governor Lalong in a statement signed by Dr Makut Simon Macham his Director of Press and Public Affairs, said the seamless handling of the issue of autonomy by the state has made Plateau a model for some states, who have sent teams to understudy its operations in order to fine-tune their modalities for implementing autonomy in their states.
According to the Governor, the implementation of full autonomy for all arms of Government is a clear indication that his Rescue Administration believes in the growth and stability of institutions that are necessary for building democracy and allowing the people to benefit more from good governance.
The statement reads in part:
“Right from the onset, we were committed to implementing autonomy because we were never afraid.
“From the benefit of my experience as a lawyer, legislator and now Governor, I clearly understood that autonomy is a win-win situation for the arms of government and the people.
“It will definitely increase accountability and transparency, as well as frugal management of resources.
“Because we were sincere and honest, we had no difficulty in confronting tough hurdles towards reaching a compromise on various issues.
“Today, many States are coming to learn from us. At the moment, Niger, Adamawa and Nasarawa States have sent their people to come and study what we have done,” Lalong added.
In his remark, the Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Nuhu Abok Ayuba expressed the legislature’s appreciation to Governor Lalong for “his personal commitment and openness, which made him to be the first Governor to implement full autonomy even when many states were yet to do so.”
He said Governor Lalong has written his name in gold and will remain a shining example for democracy and the rule of law in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Yakubu Gyang Dakwak also appreciated the efforts of the Governor who, he said, did not only adhere to legal requirements, but also facilitated political solutions to deal with grey areas that stood in the way of implementing the autonomy in a way to satisfy all the arms of Government.
He maintained that the implementation of autonomy is by no means a divorce among the three arms of Government, but an arrangement to enhance effectiveness of the arms in serving the people.
Dakwak emphasised that the concept of one government was superior to that of independence, hence the need for more synergy in the new dispensation.
Prof. Danladi Atu, the Secretary to the Government of the State, who chaired the Committee, said the members who were drawn from the various arms worked assiduously to reach an amicable resolution and will continue to work together as the implementation continues, in order to eliminate any challenge that may arise.
The Governor, he said, will also sign the Funds Management Law which has been passed and is a key component of implementing autonomy as it will guide the management of all funds accruing to the various tiers of Government.
Periscope International reports that Plateau State is barely two months into the implementation of full autonomy for the Legislature and Judiciary and, with the avowed commitment of the heads of the three Arms of Government to continue to work together, the state is set to set the pace in this regard.