Jul 25, 2020

NBAAGC Session on Executive Order And Democratic Governance

On May 20, 2020, President Buhari signed Executive Order No. 10 which guaranteed financial autonomy of state legislature and judiciary. This Order was warmly welcomed by many as the issue of financial autonomy has hampered the development of both arms of government within the States.

In addition to this Order, President Buhari has also signed other Orders including; Executive Order No.1, on the Promotion of Transparency and Efficiency in the Business Environment; Executive Order No.2, on the Promotion of local content in public procurement by the Federal Government;
Executive Order No.3, for the Timely Submission of annual budgetary estimates by all statutory and non-statutory agencies, including companies owned by the Federal Government; Executive Order No.4, on the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), to increase the level of Tax awareness and compliance, widen the tax net, and reduce incidence of tax evasion in the country; Executive Order No.5, to improve local content in public procurement with Science, Engineering and Technology components; and  Executive Order No.6, on the Preservation of Suspicious Assets connected with corruption and other relevant offences. This order sought to fight corruption by curtailing certain liberties and fundamental rights of Nigerians.

These Executive Orders however, raise one question, “does it in any way erode on the powers of the National Assembly to make laws?” or put in another way, “does the Executive carry exercise law making powers via these Orders?”. Indeed, democracy cannot flourish in the dearth of clear and precise separation of powers and an operative system of checks and balances. This topic will be subject to debate at the upcoming NBA Annual General Conference scheduled to hold in August, 2020, and lawyers are urged to participate actively in the session.