‘Senate has no power to probe bailout fund’
According to a statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the Assembly made the declaration on Wednesday following a matter of urgent public importance raised by the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Kamil Oyedele on the propriety of the Senate to probe the fund.
The Senate had written a letter to the state government on its decision to visit the state to probe the disbursement of the fund.
During a debate on the issue, Oyedele said according to Section 128 of the constitution, the state Assembly is the arm of government empowered to carry out such probe.
He said the Senate was only attempting to usurp the power of the state parliament.According to him, there was a budgetary provision for the application of the fund and the state legislature was carrying out its oversight function
by monitoring this.
He urged the Assembly to invite officials of the state government and other agencies in charge of the fund to probe its disbursement, instead of waiting for the Senate to usurp its power.
According to the Speaker, Najeem Salaam, the state parliament has no plan to disregard the Senate, but only wants to ensure that it works within the limit of its powers in line with the constitution.
He added that in a federation like Nigeria, each of the units has its limit and responsibility. “The state government has the authority of this parliament to get the fund and if there is any issue, we are the ones empowered to probe and report to the National Assembly if there is a need for such.
“As I am talking, we have not received any letter from the Senate relating to the issue of bailout fund. It must be noted that this fund is a loan that would be paid back, not a grant and there are budgetary provisions for it. As a result, the state parliament is monitoring it,” Salaam explained.