The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on Friday, said state governors on the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum altered some parts of the agreement they reached on Monday with other stakeholders on the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and the judiciary, hence the lingering industrial action by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.
He said the affected areas of the agreement were fundamental in terms of the execution of Sections 83 and 162 of Executive Order 10.
Ngige disclosed this in an interview with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with the President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The chairman of the NGF, Kayode Fayemi, had after a meeting of the technical committee on the matter chaired by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, on Monday disclosed that state governors and other stakeholders had reached an agreement on the implementation.
Although he did not disclose the details of the agreement reached, Fayemi assured the nation that the implementation will start in May.
But Ngige said on Friday that some parts of the agreement were altered by the NGF.
He said, “We reviewed what has been done. The Chief of Staff did what we call in labour parlance tripartite plus arrangement by engaging them, both parties conceded; Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the heads of courts, state judges, the unions, and the Presidential Implementation Committee for Executive Order 10 led by the Attorney General, but standing in for him by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary.
“So, we reviewed where they are. We had a twist two days ago because the arrangement they had with the Chief of Staff had to be altered when the governors got back to their forum.
“As the conciliator, when they presented the two papers, one from the Solicitor-General and another one from the Director-General of the NGF, I had to tell them that we have to reconcile those papers, because the areas that they differ are very fundamental areas in terms of the execution of Sections 83 and 162.
“We need the governors to touch this among themselves and come back, because, in consultation, I receive documents, issues from the unions, and the NBA, and even the representative of the heads of courts on one side, and then from these government people of NGF, and the Solicitor-General of the Federation representing Attorney-General.
“So, if the government’s papers are not on the same page, then the discussion will be very difficult and fruitless. So, that is where we are.
“As I finish from here, I am going to do another meeting with the Chief of Staff so that we can make a move. The President has directed that we meet and study the situation so that we can advise the government’s side on what is best for the situation.”