By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The president of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has blamed the incessant confrontations between the Executive and the Legislature, the ministers and other officials of the presidency and the public perception of Parliament.
The spokesman, through Mr. Lanre Lasisi, his special adviser on media and advertising, said that “efforts to adhere to his constitutional oversight role, Gbajabiamila stated, often led to” friction with the Executive, the constitutional responsibility of oversight of government ministries “. Departments and Agencies (MDA) has always been a major point of disagreement between the two.”
He suggested that “to address the problem, a better understanding of the Legislature and its constitutional duties and the dissemination of legislative activities by the Nigerian media would allow Nigerians to appreciate their representatives more and have a full understanding of the issues at stake. from an informed position ”.
Gbajabiamila spoke on Monday at a 2-day dialogue session for senior members of the Executive and Legislative branches of the government with the aim of improving partnership, good governance and the effective delivery of public goods and services organized by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Banquet Hall of the House of Representatives. , Aso Villa, Abuja.
However, the spokesman, who led the members of the House to retire, pointed out that as long as the nation’s system of government is based on a partnership between the Executive and the Legislature, the most important of its functions is the obligation to control and balance each other.
In his speech titled ‘Building an effective partnership for good governance and the execution of the government’s priority agenda’, Gbajabiamila noted that for the provision of good governance, legislative oversight should not be seen as an attempt to usurp the authority of the Executive Rather, it should be seen as a good effort to ensure that the government meets its obligations under the law.
He said: “The misconception of the legislative function in a democracy is one of the greatest threats to effective cooperation between the Executive and the Legislative.
“One of the biggest misconceptions is that the Legislature exists only to make laws. The media and indeed large sections of the public evaluate the performance of individual legislators based on this index of the number of bills sponsored and passed.
“The primary role of the legislator is to participate in the policy development and implementation process as a representative of the people on whose behalf they work, always acting to ensure that their opinions are part of policy considerations and their interests are protected.
“It is not up to the Legislature to implement projects that have been appropriated through the appropriation process. That is the exclusive responsibility of the Executive.
“Our role is to ensure strict compliance with appropriation laws as they exist, to amend those laws where necessary to ensure full compliance and achievement of the appropriation purpose.
“The oversight responsibility of the Legislature flows directly from our constitutionally ordained role as the custodian of the public treasury responsible for ensuring that the disbursement of treasury funds is carried out in accordance with established rules and for the public benefit.
“In my experience in the House of Representatives, most conflicts between the Executive and the Legislature arise from the exercise of the legislative oversight function.
“It is, therefore, necessary to reiterate that the oversight function of the National Assembly is not the creation of parliamentary exuberance or an attempt to interfere with the proper administration of the executive role.
“Parliament acts in control because that is what our Constitution requires and is authorized by law.
In addition, Gbajabiamila identifies requests for information as another important source of conflict between the Legislature and the Executive, saying: “Requests for information, for records, and for officials to appear before the legislature to provide clarity on matters of importance are tools Legitimate legislative, authorized by the Constitution.
“The current upheavals in the country and around the world make it clear that old practices are insufficient to satisfy our highest and best aspirations. We have the opportunity to remake our system of government so that we can provide roads and electricity, security and social protection, a safe environment, and a functioning justice system that enables our people to live lives of peace and productivity.
“If we achieve these goals, we will do so by working together hand in hand, knowing that with our joint effort, we have it in our power to overcome current challenges and prosper in the new world that emerges from this moment,” he added.