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Respect views of Nigerians on hate speech bill, governors tell NASS

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday night advised the National Assembly to hold a public hearing on the hate speech bill to ensure that views of Nigerians were captured in the passage of the bill.

The Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, stated this while fielding questions from journalists at the end of the forum’s meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.

Tambuwal, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Forum, said: “I am not sure I have heard any governor come out to say he is in support of the 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.”

On 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. percent, Tambuwal appealed for more understanding with the Federal Government on the issue.

He said the governors were in support of what would improve the revenue generation drive of both the federal and state governments.

He added: “We are appealing to those who probably have no proper understanding of the contexts of that bill to kindly have a rethink of them and reflect on the 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 for more revenue in Nigeria. So, I appeal that we should show more understanding with the federal government in that regard.”

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.

“I am sure it is work in progress. Before December all the states must have finished working out the details on the issue of minimum wage across the federation,” the Sokoto governor concluded.

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