The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has advised the National Assembly to hold public hearing on the hate speech bill before it to ensure that views of Nigerians were captured in the passage of the bill.
NGF Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the forum meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja. He advised the federal lawmakers to respect the views of Nigerians on the bill. “I am not sure I have heard any governor come out to say he is in support of death penalty for hate speech. “I believe the National Assembly should hold a public hearing on that bill, so that due process of lawmaking is followed, so that the views of Nigerians not just the governors will be well captured on that bill. “They should respect the views of Nigerians in whatever may be the direction of debate and the eventual passage or otherwise of that bill,” Tambuwal said.
Asked of the governors’ position on the Finance Bill submitted to the NASS by President Muhammadu Buhari to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from five to 7.5. per cent, Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to show more understanding with the Federal Government. He said that the governors were in support of what would improve the revenue generation drive of both the federal and state governments.
“We are appealing to those who probably have no proper understanding of the contexts of those bill to kindly have a rethink of them and reflect on quantum of work ahead of us. ”As a country and states, we need a lot of resources to turn around infrastructure, to invest in education, healthcare and every sector of our national life. “There is urgent need of more revenue in Nigeria. So, I appeal that we should should show more understanding with the Federal Government in that regard,” he said. On the December deadline for the implementation of minimum wage issued by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to state governors, Tambuwal said the various states were engaging labour unions on the issue.Tambuwal disclosed that the governors also received update on the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency. Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme and discussed modalities to ensure its smooth and accelerated implementation.“Following a presentation from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the SFTAS Annual Performance Appraisal (APA) mission to States, members committed to working with the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) to ensure that the APA process does not experience delays. “The forum also held a preliminary consultative session with the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri and his team on the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Nigeria for the period of 2020 to 2024.The seventh meeting was attended by governors of Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Adamawa, and Kwara. Other states such as Gombe, Enugu, Edo, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Oyo and Ebonyi were represented by their deputy governors.