By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- GOVERNOR Chibuike Amaechi led Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, yesterday called for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The group said that as a matter of urgency Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala should resign her position if the Federal Government can not adhere to the Appropriation Act of 2013.
The governors at the end of its 7th meeting held at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge however frowned at the non implementation of the Act which they described as a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act, even as they have slated November this year for a Nigeria Governors’ Forum Retreat.
Reading a communique at the end of the meeting, Chairman of the forum and Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi 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.
The 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.
The governors at the end of the meeting also commiserated with wife of President Goodluck Jonathan over the death of her mother, governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State over thee death of his father and mourned the death of former governor Segun Agagu of Ondo State.
The governors also reiterated the call for the separation of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation from the office of the Accountant General of the Federal Government for accountability for better management of the economy.
Meanwhile, Governors loyal to Jonah Jang’s faction of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) yesterday boycotted the meeting called by the Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Three of the governors, who supported Amaechi during the NGF election also shunned the meeting.
The governors were those of Imo, Kebbi and Yobe, while the 16 governors that attended the meeting were that Kano, Zamfara, Lagos, Sokoto, Kwara, Niger, Osun, Oyo, Ogun, Jigawa, Rivers, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno (Deputy), Nasarawa (Deputy) and Edo (Deputy).
The governors loyal to Jang that boycotted the meeting were those of Plateau, Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Delta, Ondo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Katsina, Kaduna, Taraba, Benue, Abia, Kogi and Gombe.
The governors loyal to Amaechi were expected to discuss the issue of sovereign wealth fund, oil theft, post election disagreements, fresh and subsisting litigations among other issues.
The full text of the communique, “The non-compliance with the revenue projection of the Federal Govt of Nigeria 2013 budget is a direct breach of the appropriation act of 2013. Members expressed concern in the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act of 2013.
The Forum expressed that tha Ntional Economic Council is constitutionally responsible for the management of the economy and should be used for that purpose as opposed to the economic management team as constituted by the Presidency
“We reinstate our earlier call to the National Assembly for the separation of he office of the accountant General of the Federation from that of he Accountant General of the Federal Government for the accountability and better management of the economy.
“After review polio situation in the country, members recognised some progress have been made in 2013 compared to 2012. Forum enjoined all governors to remain focused 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, Goverrnor Fashola for the loss of his father, and the family if the late Dr.Olusegun Agagu, former governor of Ondo state
” Finally, it was resolve that the Forum will hold a Nigeria Governors Forum retreat in November 2013.”