Governors Demand Okonjo-Iweala’s Resignation

Members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have called on the Minister of Finance, who is also the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to resign her appointment if she knew she would not be able to adhere strictly with the Appropriation Act 2013.

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They said the non-compliance with the revenue projections of the Federal Government 2013 Budget was also a direct breach of the provisions of the Appropriation Act, 2013.

These decisions were part of the resolutions of the Governor Rotimi Amaechi-led NGF, which met in Abuja on Tuesday evening.

States which were represented by their governors at the meeting were those of Rivers, Niger, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti, Ogun, Adamawa, Oyo,  Lagos, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano and Zamfara while deputy governors  of Edo, Borno and Nasarawa states represented their governors.

The governors also called for the immediate dissolution of the Economic Management Team.

Reading the communique of the meeting, Amaechi, who was flanked by other members said, “Members expressed concern in the management of the economy by the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy and called for a strict adherence to the Appropriation Act, 2013, failing which she should resign.

“Forum observed that the National 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 constituted by the Presidency.”

The governors also called on the National Assembly to separate the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation from that of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government for the purpose of accountability and better management of the economy.

On polio eradication war, the governors said they noted that some progress had been made in 2013 compared to 2012.

They, therefore, enjoined all governors to remain focused and continue to drive the programme in their irrespective states until polio was completely eradicated in the country.

The governors also expressed condolence to the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan,  Patience, for the loss of her foster mother and also condoled with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Raji Fashola (SAN) over the death of his father.

They also expressed their condolence to the family of a former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu.

Amaechi also announced that the governors would hold a retreat in November, but he did not state where it would hold.

The notice of meeting sent to the governors for the meeting showed that money by the Federation Account Allocation Committee topped the agenda at the meeting.

Also on the agenda was the Excess Crude Account, which had been a major disagreement between the governors and the Federal Government.

The Sovereign  Wealth Fund was also discussed.

Amaechi’s opening remark, which kick-started the meeting, dwelt on fresh and subsisting litigations, state peer review mechanism and publication of inaugural speeches by the chairman.

A source at the meeting, said that Amaechi’s speech also covered the capacity building meetings in Galilee Institute, Israel, and investment in the United States of America and Russia.

The source added that oil theft was also part of the issues the governors discussed. The parallel forum is being led by the Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Jonah Jang. Jang and those in his group were not at the meeting.

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