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Okei-Odumakin urges Nigerians to monitor management of public funds




Right activist and President, Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin has urged the citizens to monitor the management of public funds and expose every tendency to abuse the process by those involved.

She also described the allegations of budget padding among legislators as bothersome.

According to her: “We need to ask why it took Jibrin this long to expose the issue after the budget was submitted to the Assembly almost seven months and signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari over two months ago.”

“It is a standard practice for the legislators to make additions or subtractions in an appropriation bill since they have a legitimate role to play in the budgeting process. However, every input or otherwise into the budget must be open, transparent and involve projects or services that have direct impact on the citizens. Anything outside this amounts to misappropriation and abuse of office,” she added.

Also, Lagos-based lawyer, Adeola Samuel-Ilori said: “Budget padding or insertion is unconstitutional and is an aberration to our grundnorm. It is wrong because the constitutional provision of budgeting is primarily the power of the executive. Legislators can only suggest areas in the budget that they feel needs improvement.”

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  • Oladapo Ayorinde B

    The Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) are in the best position to monitor all arms of government and carry out “oversight functions” on them on behalf of all Nigerians. We are not short of laws; we have so many on our Statute Books. The 1999 Constitution, and all sorts of laws including those that set up some Parastatals that have statutory responsibility to submit their budgets, separately from the Annual Budget that the President submits to the NASS. Who gets to see them?

    All Bills before the NASS are supposed to be gazetted; it is a legal requirement. With the current Evidence Act that allows for electronic forms of documentation, why can’t the Federal Ministry of Information publish Federal Gazette on its Website? Has anybody asked questions as to why the Audited Financial Statements of the Federal Government have not been published for over 10 years, despite NASS having the Public Accounts Committees in the two Chambers?
    The proceedings of all plenary sessions of NASS are supposed to be gazetted or published in the NASS Journal. Again with the current Evidence Act, why are those publications posted on the NASS website? With all these, how can we have transparency and accountability in governments, at Federal and State levels? How can we avoid budget padding when even the Committee work of the various Committees, Standing and Ad Hoc, are supposed to be in public? Ordinary Nigerians cannot monitor all these short comings. The Media and the CSO’s are better placed to do so.
    We should forget our pride and borrow a leaf or two from South Africa. About two weeks ago, the South African Parliamentary Committee on Justice carried out a public hearing to interview candidates being considered for the post of Public Protector, a position that will be vacant in early September. That sitting was aired on SABC TV (DSTV 404live until about 3.30am that I could not keep my eyes open again. I had no prior knowledge that it was going to be on. The moment I bumped into it, it stuck to it. It is a shame on us as Africans for the White to say South Africa would not be where it is today but for the Apartheid regime. But is it not true? About time Nigeria gets its acts together.

    • amador kester

      Concurred. Absolutely