Comply With 2013 Appropriation Act Or Resign, Nigeria Governors’ Forum Tells Okonjo-Iweala

Thirteen governors and three deputy governors yesterday attended the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) meeting called by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State. The governors are:- Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abdulafatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Babatunde Fashola (Lagos), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti) While the governors of Edo, Borno and Nasarawa States were represented by their deputies – Pius Odubu, Zanna Umar Mustapha and Dameshi Barau Luka respectively. At the end of the meeting which held at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, the governors urged the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to manage the economy well or resign. The Forum said her non-compliance with the revenue projection of the 2013 budget was a direct breach of the Appropriation Act. The governors also pointed out that the National Economic Council (NEC) is the right body to manage the economy and not the Economic Management Team (EMT). In a communiqué read by Gov. Amaechi, the governors said: “The non compliance with the revenue projections of the Federal Government of Nigeria 2013 Budget is a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act 2013. Members expressed concern in the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act 2013, failing which she should resign. “Forum observed that National Economic Council (NEC) is constitutionally responsible for the management of the economy and should be used for that purpose as opposed to the Economic Management Team (EMT) constituted by the Presidency. “We reiterate our earlier call to the National Assembly for the separation of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from that of the Accountant General of the Federal Government for accountability and better management of the economy.” He added: “After review of the Polio situation in the country, members recognised that some progress has been made in 2013 compared to 2012. Forum enjoined all governors to remain focussed and continue to drive the programme in their respective states until polio is completely eradicated.” “Members expressed condolence to Dame Patience Jonathan for the loss of her mother, Governor Fashola for the loss of his father and the family of the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former Governor of Ondo State.” The communiqué concluded by announcing the resolve of the Forum to organize a Nigeria Governors’ Forum retreat in November, 2013, but did not state the exact date and venue. Yesterday’s meeting also revealed that the crisis in the NGF was far from over as none of the governors loyal to the Jonah Jang faction were in attendance even though we gathered they were invited. Information Nigeria reports that this will be the first meeting of the Amaechi-led NGF since his disputed election in May. The first meeting was called off just when the governors had convened, so as to attend an emergency meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
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