16 June 2017

Nigeria: Dogara Disagrees With Osinbajo Over Budget Process

Photo: Yakubu Dogara
Yakubu Dogara.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara said the National Assembly has powers to introduce new projects in budget proposals presented by the president.

Dogara was reacting to recent comments by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo that the legislature does not have the right to insert new projects in a budgetary proposal.

Speaking during the presentation of a motion on privileges yesterday by Abubakar Lawal (APC, Adamawa), the speaker said it was erroneous for any individual to think that the legislature could not add, remove or reduce items in budget estimates.

Dogara said the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, which vests the powers of appropriation on the legislature, could not be interpreted otherwise, saying "a declaration as to which of the arms has the power and rights, in as much as it is related to the interpretation of the law, is the function of the Judiciary and not of the Executive."

He said the Appropriation Act is a law enacted by the parliament and that public officers from the president to his ministers must ensure its full implementation, failure of which could lead to severe consequences.

Dogara said in the event of refusal to assent to any bill by the Executive, the constitution empowers the National Assembly to override such veto in the interest of the public.

Rep Lawal had earlier in his motion said the comments by the acting president breached his privileges as a lawmaker, saying the practice all over the world was for the legislature to appropriate funds for the Executive arm, which includes introduction of new projects.

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