By Jubril Bada
A political analyst, Mr. Henry Olonimoyo, has described the position of Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole that the legislature lacked the powers to curb corruption and wasteful expenditure in government as unacceptable.
He said this yesterday while reacting to the two leaders who openly spoke at the 2022 convocation ceremony of the Post-graduate and Higher National Diploma programmes of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, an affiliate of the University of Benin.
The Senate President at the event, held in Abuja, regretted that Nigerians were beaming their searchlight on the National Assembly which was collecting less than one percent of the national budget instead of asking the executive which is controlling 99 per cent of the funds questions.
“The legislature is really incapacitated, that is the fact because we can’t do anything. If you sign the warrant of arrest against someone and the person refused to appear before the National Assembly, nothing will happen because we have no police of our own in the National Assembly to send to go and arrest that person.
While Bankole, who delivered a lecture titled, “Legislative Turnover and Effects On Institution Building and National Development,” noted with concern that the executive arm of government has not done anything to reduce the cost of governance despite efforts being made by the legislature at the national, state and local council levels.
Olonimoyo explained that the National Assembly has made itself appeared weak to the executive arm of government because it decided to subject its power to executive.
According to him, ” For quite some time now as regard the national budget, it has always been rub my back ,l rub your back relationship between the executive and the legislature,”
The analyst, who pointed out that oversight function as one of the key functions of the legislature said the National Assembly failed to use this power to scrutinize the money budgeted for each Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for implementation.
He further added that the National Assembly also weak for its failure to query executive for poor Implementation of annual budget.
“This is not a good posture for NASS. l’m not saying that they should be at loggerhead with the executive but to do the needful.
“ They should know that they were elected in the interest of people and anything that is not in the interest of entire Nigerians they should stand against it” he stated.