By Femi Ogunshola
Abuja, Nov. 25, 2020 Rep. Femi Gnajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, says the annual budget review of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) of government is within the National Assembly’s legislative right.
Gbajabiamila said this at the resumption of the House of Representatives’ plenary on Tuesday in Abuja.
“I have observed during the recent budget defence process that there are still some MDAs that consider the exercise of the legislative authority to review their budget proposals as an undue incursion into the management of their offices,” he said.
He said that such posture stemmed from a fundamental misunderstanding of the legislative role in the appropriations process.
“When the committees of the House of Representatives and the Senate convene to review the heads of expenditure contained in the Appropriation Bill, we do so in the exercise of clear and concise constitutional authority.”
He stated that this was a responsibility that the House of Reps took seriously adding that it would not evade it regardless of whatever objections that could arise from some quarters.
“It is in the best interests of our country that all parties concerned subject themselves to this process in good faith knowing that this, too, is an obligation of service to our country.
“We will pass the budget, we will do it early and we will do it right,” he added.
Gbajabiamila said that Nigerians expected much from the lawmakers.
While commending his colleagues for the commitment and energy put in thus far he said that he would encourage them to continue in that regard.
Gbajabiamila said that the committee on the review of the constitution had been inaugurated and the members had started essential work.
He said that the committee had put out a request for memoranda and other submissions that would guide its work.
According to him, it is through the aggregation of the many and varied opinions of all Nigerians that we will arrive at a constitution that meets all the best expectations we have for our country.
In the same vein, the Speaker said that the House orlf Reps had begun the long-anticipated efforts to review and amend the Electoral Act in advance of the next general elections.
He said: “perfecting the process through which we choose the people that will serve in government is an essential requirement for the continued development of our democracy.”
He urged the lawmakers to reach out to their various constituencies and encourage their constituents to participate in both the Constitution Review and the Electoral Act Amendment.
This according to him is by articulating and submitting the changes they wish to see because it is also part of the joint task of nation-building.
By Femi Ogunshola