The Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu on Monday said that if financial and administrative autonomy should be granted to the legislative arm of government it will help to end frequent harassment of Governors by legislators.
Aliyu dropped the hint in Minna at the opening of a five day Capacity Building Seminar for Magistrates and Sharia Court judges at the Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference centre.
“We have agreed on the autonomy of the legislative arm of government we believe that constant lobby, harassment and threat from the distinguished members will stop when autonomy is granted.”
Aliyu however opposed the granting of autonomy to local governments saying that local governments belong to the sates not the federal insisting that making the local governments independent will put some of them in position that they will not be able to pay workers salaries.
He argued that in Niger state only 3 out of the 25 local government councils in the state will be in position to pay workers salaries if they are made autonomous because presently they depend on other councils to remain afloat.
The governor said that there is a misconception about the joint account principle explaining that joint account is between the local governments and not with the state through which they supplement each other financially.
“I disagree with the autonomy of local governments there is a misconception about the joint account, some LGAs are more buoyant than the others 22 LGAs are being supplemented by the others in the payment of salaries.”
The governor therefore argued that granting autonomy to LGAs will be creating 801 federating units in the country thereby establishing mini governors of the same number in the federation which is not what the constitution wants.
“It is not right and it cannot be right in a federal system? the governor said emphatically.”
On the autonomy for the judiciary Governor Aliyu threw his weight behind the plan saying it will improve the standards of the courts and make adjudication of justice faster and unbiased adding that “with independent and unbiased judiciary our democracy will flourish.”
He however suggested that in view of the congestion of the courts there is the need for the institution of what he called ?alternative dispute resolution strategy? which will provide for means of settling disputes without recurring to the law courts.
In an address the Chief Judge of Niger state Justice Lami Fati Abubakar said the seminar is designed to bring Sharia cour judges and magistrates abreast of current trend in the legal profession.
A justice of the Supreme Court Justice Musa Dattijo, former Chief Judge of Niger state Justice Jibrin Ndajiwo and members of the Nigeria Bar Association attended the opening ceremony.