President of the Senate, Senator Senator David Mark has clarified that the National Assembly is neither in competition nor being combative with the executive arm of government “when we ask questions about implementation of budget but merely exercising our constitutional powers of appropriation and oversight.”
Specifically, section 88(2b) states: “subject to the provision of this constitution each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution “to expose corruption, inefficiency,or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.”
Speaking at a workshop for civil society organizations and non- governmental organizations on ” Budget monitoring, evaluation and reporting” in Abuja yesterday, Senator Mark added “our roles in budgeting should not be misunderstood to mean meddling into the functions of the executive. We represent the people and we owe it a duty to let them know.”
He stated that the 1999 constitution as amended is very clear on the roles or functions of each arm of government saying that the principle of separation of powers should be respected at all times.
Senator Mark enjoined the civil society organizations to make accuracy their watchwords in their budget monitoring, evaluation and reporting, saying that democracy, accountability and rule of law would be enhanced if their reports are
independent and unbiased.
In his contribution, Chairman, Senate Committee on Information and Media Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe urged the executive arm of government to see the Law makers as partners in the initiation and implementation of policies and programmes.
This he noted is necessary to avoid conflict or creating a communication gap.
Earlier, the Chief of Staff to the President of the Senate, Senator Anthony Manzo said the synergy between the law makers and civil society organizations has become an important tool to enable them feel the pulse of the citizenry.