Gov David Umahi of Ebonyi has reiterated call for review of the revenue sharing formula to enable states adequately take care of its workers.
Umahi made the call on Friday in Abakaliki at the opening of the 2018/19 legal year of the Ebonyi judiciary.
The governor likened the allocation accrued to states from the federation account as a ‘sign wave’ which made permutations difficult because it was not constant.
“The balance of justice is that the country’s leaders should dialogue and allocate percentages to its various sectors which include workers’ salaries, education, infrastructure, judiciary, legislature among others.
“The burning issue presently in Nigeria is workers’ welfare which every right thinking person will support and I have said severally that N30, 000 minimum wage is not even enough for workers.
“It is my desire to improve on workers’ welfare but something must be done at the centre so that the states can breathe.
“To clamp the nut on the petroleum subsidy episode, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be more transparent and accountable to the federation account,” he said.
He noted that effective management of the nation’s resources would enable the government adequately took care of workers’ welfare and the three tiers of government.
Umahi commended the state’s judiciary for advocating the domestication of the criminal justice system and sought its corporation alongside that of the house of assembly in that regard.
“I also commend you for the promotion of the ‘balance of mercy’ system which makes us invite relatives of murdered persons and appeal to them to forgive the killers sentenced to death.
“This system has worked in most cases except for instances where such relatives are still mourning.
“When we pardon these condemned criminals whose victims died in serous and painful manners without considering the victims’ families, we create more problems than solutions.
“I commend the state’s chief judge and his team for their frequent visits to prisons as prison decongestion has been a major concern to President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Justice Alloy Nwankwo, the state’s Chief Judge, noted that a total of 2, 070 cases were filed at the state High Court during the 2017/18 legal year with 1,250 disposed and 820 currently pending.
“173 were filed at the customary court of appeal with 190 disposed and 455 pending while 2, 392 cases were filed at the magistrate courts with 1, 600 disposed and 792 pending.
“1, 264 cases were filed at the customary courts with 833 dispensed and 2,027 pending as N30million was generated from these courts through court fees, court fines, marriage fees and probate fees,” he said.
He assured the Chief Justice of Nigeria that the state’s judiciary would not relent in its efforts to rid itself of questionable judicial officers and continue according zero tolerance to corrupt acts.
“We realised the completion of the new special court auditorium and face-lift of the judicial complex through frugal utilization of the monthly capital budget releases to the high court by the state government,” he said.
Mr Cletus Ofoke, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state thanked the governor, chief judges of sister states among others for gracing the occasion, noting that it was landmark in the state’s judiciary’s existence.