With the approval and the document subsequently heading for implementation by the National Assembly, those agitating for new states now have a hope that such dream would be realised when the document gets to the House of Assembly. The council which was yesterday chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, applauded the contributions that prepared the document, which it said is for the collective interest of Nigerians.
Briefing State House correspondents, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, said the council approved that the resolutions and recommendations that have implications on constitutional amendment or enactment of new laws, the Attorney-General of the Federation should compile, vet them for onward transmission to the National Assembly for enactment into law. He said the urgency in recommending the implementation, had nothing to do with pressure or the general elections, starting next Saturday (March 28).
Anyim said the FEC also approved that all policy matters that require action by federal agencies be referred to the agencies for immediate implementation and all that require action by state governments or state agencies should be referred to the states for their immediate implementations and ditto for local government.
According to the SGF, council approved the modalities in implementing the report. He said the committee set up immediately after the submission of the report had assured the President that the recommendations were implementable. Anyim said: “The National Conference report came to the council today. You will recall that barely one year ago, Mr. President inaugurated the conference and that at the end of sittings, the conference submitted a report to him.
“You will also recall that the conference came up with modalities for implementing their resolutions or recommendations. And I think it was the high point of that effort. They not only came up with recommendations, they not only agreed on basic measure, they also recommended to government on how to implement those recommendations and resolutions.
“Let me state that what happened in council today was for the council to approve that those modalities be adopted in implementing the report. Recall that when the report was submitted to Mr. President, he set up a committee under the chairmanship of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the committee has looked at the report in its entirety. They have looked at the recommendations and they have advised Mr. President that they were implementable.
“You would have heard the President promising severally that he was going to implement the recommendations of the conference. So, the report coming to the council today is the first leg of taking concrete steps towards implementing the recommendations and resolutions of the conference and what was agreed today in council are one, that the resolutions and recommendations that have implications on constitutional amendment or enactment of new laws, the Attorney-General should compile them, vet them for onward transmission to the national assembly for enactment into law. So, we expect that in the nearest future, the attorney general would have concluded work on them and they will be forwarded by mr president to the National Assembly.
“The second approval was also that there are recommendations that have to do with policy matters and those recommendations are necessarily for implementation by either federal agencies or state agencies or local government areas. So, it’s what was approved in council that all policy matters that require action by federal agencies would be referred to the agencies for immediate implementation and all that require action by state governments or state agencies should be referred to the states for their immediate implementations and ditto for local government.
“On other matters that require legal issues, for instance where it concerns constitutional amendment, it is not really the responsibility of the National Assembly alone. They have to work with the state assemblies in bringing effect to this. So, today, we are taking steps towards implementing the resolutions of the National Conference and we believe that the vision of Mr. President in setting up the conference and the wonderful work done by eminent Nigerians who attended the conference in producing the report, the resolutions and recommendations, we would be giving consideration and we believe our country will benefit immensely from the work of this conference”.
On the urgency in implementing the report within a few days to the elections, the SGF said President Jonathan had been consistent right from his closing remarks at the conference that he will implement the recommendations.
“The conference didn’t stop at recommendations, they went ahead to set out modalities. The process starting now is not going to end tomorrow. It is not an overnight thing, but the journey starts now. “There is no pressure from any group to implement the report, Mr. President is keeping to his promise”, Anyim said.