The purpose of the committee, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), is to drive the actualization of the autonomy granted to the legislature and judiciary at the State level, and membership is as follows:
Ø Abubakar Malami, SAN, HAGF/Minister of Justice, Chairman;
Ø Senator Ita Enang, Presidential Liaison (NASS), Secretary;
Representatives of State Judiciary include;
Ø Hon. Justice N. Ajanah, Chief Judge of Kogi State;
Ø Hon. Justice K. Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa State;
Ø Hon. Kadi Abdullahi Maikano Usman, Grand Khadi, Gombe State Sharia Court of Appeal; and
Ø Hon. Justice Abbazih Musa Abubakar Sadeeq, Ag. President of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal.
State legislatures are to be represented by:
Ø Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria and Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, as well as Rt. Hon. Abel Peter Riah, Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly.
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria is to be represented by Marwan Mustapha Adamu;
Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Comrade Bala Hadi;
Body of Chairmen of Houses of Assembly Service Commissions, Musa Mustapha Agwai;
Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, Senator David Umaru;
House of Representatives Committee on Federal Judiciary, Hon. Aminu Shagari;
the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Secretary of the National Judicial Council.
Others are: DG of the Nigerian Governors Forum or such other representative as the Forum may wish to nominate; Chairman of the Forum of Finance Commissioners in Nigeria; President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, SAN; and Chike Adibuah Esq, representing Civil Society Organizations.
Terms of reference of the committee include, among others; to assess and review the level of compliance by all the 36 States of the Federation with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); to monitor, ensure and cause the implementation of Financial Autonomy across the Judiciary and Legislature of the 36 States; to consult and relate with the appropriate Federal and State MDAs; to ensure and where necessary enforce the implementation of constitutional provision; and to come up with appropriate modality or model to be adopted by all the States of the Federation for implementation and/ or compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The formal inauguration of the committee by Mr President will be done in due course.
In another statement, also by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), President Buhari lauded Nigerians for curbing excessive taste for foreign products, which has positioned the country for food self-sufficiency, and resulted into savings of over $21 billion.
The President said the humongous savings will be deployed to other critical areas like infrastructure, education, health care, and many others.
President Buhari was reacting to recent disclosures by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who spoke at the 2018 Annual Bankers’ Dinner, where he said:
“Noticeable declines were steadily recorded in our monthly food import bill from US$665.4 million in January 2015 to US$160.4 million as at October 2018, a cumulative fall of 75.9% and an implied savings of over US$21 billion on food imports alone over that period. Most evident were the 97.3% cumulative reduction in monthly rice import bills, 99.6% in fish, 81.3% in milk, 63.7% in sugar, and 60.5% in wheat. We are glad with the accomplishments recorded so far.”
President Buhari said with the commitment of Nigerian farmers, and the support given by the government, “in no distant future, food importation will be completely alien to us, and we will even export actively, thus reversing our position as a mono- product economy.”
The CBN governor equally spoke on the number of jobs created in the agriculture sector:
“In the agriculture sector, the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) has ensured that Nigeria emerged from being a net importer of rice to becoming a major producer, supplying key markets in neighbouring countries. As at October 2018, a total number of 862,069 farmers cultivating about 835,239 hectares, across 16 different commodities, have so far benefited from Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, which has generated 2,502,675 jobs across the country.”
Describing the development as “heart-warming,” the President said it was just a matter of time before a significantly positive impact would be made in the statistics of the unemployed in the country, particularly from the agriculture sector.
He asserted: “We are on a productive voyage, which would see the ship of state berthing at the harbour of food self-sufficiency, gainful jobs, peace and prosperity for Nigerians.”