By Henry Umoru & Ben Agande
ABUJA – THE thirty-six governors under the aegis of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, are poised for war with President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government over what they described as excessive deductions from the excess crude account.
It will be recalled that the governors have been having a running battle with the Federal Government over what they said was illegal deduction from the excess crude account jointly owned by both levels of government, just as both parties had opted for an out of court settlement on the matter early in the year.
Rising from a meeting, Wednesday night, at the Rivers State governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja and expressing pain over the action of the federal government, the governors have resolved to drag the President to the Supreme Court to seek redress.
The governors also told Journalists that they were yet to discuss the proposed N5,000 denomination by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Reading a communiqué at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the forum and Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, said the governors threw their weight behind the Good Governance tours designed to showcase their achievements across the States in various areas of service delivery.
The tour was conceptualized by the National Economic Council, NEC.
The Communiqué read: “On the Excess Crude Account, Forum unanimously decided to head back to Court to enforce the Federal Government’s adherence to the constitution.
“Forum supports the upcoming Good Governance tours as conceptualized by
the National Economic Council (NEC) and plans to use the opportunity to
showcase achievements of the States in various areas of service delivery.
“The tour will be commencing tomorrow (yesterday), September 20, 2012, with States in
the North Central Zone.
“Lastly, the Forum resolved to embark on various strategies to deepen advocacy and administration of polio vaccines with a view to eradicating polio in the country.”
At the meeting were governors of Adamawa, Edo, Abia, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Niger, Taraba, Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Anambra, Imo, Jigawa, Nassarawa, Kogi, Yobe, Plateau, Kebbi; Cross River, Enugu and Gombe. Also in attendance were deputy governors of Imo and Jigawa.
Settle out of court, NEC tells FG, States
Meanwhile, the National Economic Council, NEC, has urged both the Federal and state governments to continue the peace talk on the excess crude oil account with the possibility of an out of court settlement.
Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of yesterday’s meeting, the Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed said “after considering a report by the Committee on the out-of-court settlement on the excess crude account litigation on the extent of the ongoing negotiations between the Federal and state governments, NEC encouraged the counsel of both parties to continue the consultations towards working out an amicable solution.”
He noted that the council’s position was advisory.
Abdulfatah said NEC also considered a presentation on the new Performance Measurement and Results delivery System in Nigeria, by Shamusiddeen, which has begun at the federal level with the recent signing of Performance Contracts between Mr. President and the Ministers and its extension between Ministers/Heads of Agencies and Permanent Secretaries.
The governor said the council emphasised the need for the scheme to transcend the national level to the sub-national level to harmonise performance management and tracking system and adopted a roadmap presented by the National Planning Minister to that effect.
“NEC therefore agreed that the States should establish a functional Monitoring and Evaluation Department to coordinate the implementation of the framework and support Performance Management; Conduct Sensitisation/Induction workshops for all Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Agencies and Parastatals and Directors; Governors Forum to adopt as part of Peer Review Mechanism; the National Planning Commission to co-ordinate the production of templates and provide overall technical support.
The Minister of National Planning, Shamsudeen Usman listed the advantages in the process which is being co-ordinated by the National Planning Commission to include improved service delivery to the public and accountability for results by top-level managers; instilling sense of accountability and transparency in service delivery and utilization of resources; increasing efficiency and focus resources on the attainment of key national policy priorities, institutionalizing performance-oriented culture in the public service through the introduction of an objective performance appraisal system and Ensuring a pervasive culture of accountability, across all levels of government
NEC also commended the Governors’ Forum for their decision to fully support and participate in the nationwide Good governance Tour which started today in the FCT.
The commendation followed a report by Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom Governor and Chairman NEC ad-hoc Committee on the nationwide Good governance Tour on the preparedness of the governors to support the project with necessary logistics.
The aim of the tour, according to NEC, is to properly project the effort of the administration to the people, seek the buy-in of the citizens on Government projects at all levels and sensitise them to support and protect such projects for the welfare and development of the nation.
The Council also yesterday advised the states to embrace the programme of implementation already developed by the Federal Ministry of Environment which includes the establishment of an agency for the implementation of GGW.
The programme is conceived as a lasting solution to the problems of desertification in Africa.