Why graft persists, by senator
A member of the Senate Dr. Lanre Tejuoso (APC , Ogun Central District) has attributed the rising cases of corruption in the country to poor oversight by lawmakers.
Tejuoso, who addressed newsmen in Abuja, promised to sponsor a Bill that would prosecute any lawmaker who failed to raise alarm over irregularities or corrupt practices in agencies and parastatals.
“We keep on talking about sponsoring bills but looking back at previous assemblies, I realised that so many bills have been passed yet corruption is on the rise.
“For me, the problem is not introducing bills but the oversight function of the lawmakers. There are so many wrongs today that could have been corrected if senators had done their oversight functions properly.
“So, I believe, rather than passing new bills, we should concentrate on how to perfect the oversight functions. If a bill should be uppermost on my mind today, it is a bill that will ensure that any agency or parastatals that fails in its responsibilities of implementing their budget or projects are exposed and probed.
“Also, the senators in charge of those agencies must be penalised,’’ he said.
The lawmaker explained that if senators charged with oversight of the power sector, for instance, had carried out their responsibilities, there would be no need for the present administration to probe the sector.
He called on the National Assembly to assist President Muhammadu Buhari in stamping out corruption by taking its oversight functions seriously.
On the current six weeks recess by the assembly, he said that it was a ‘’working recess’’.
“I have heard several times that we sat for only 15 days and went on a six-week recess.
“With the few days I have spent in the Senate, I have come to realise that the work of a senator is more when he is not in the chambers.
“This is because our offices are still running. I was in the office this morning and committees are still having their meetings. We are also going to inspect erosion sites and bad roads among others; so, where is the recess, ‘’ he said.
On alleged jumbo pay for lawmakers, Tejuoso said that the public was being misinformed.
According to him, the budget of the National Assembly equally covered other components, including management staff and National Institute for Legislative Studies.
He called on the public to disregard such information meant to pitch them against the lawmakers, adding that the lawmakers had the interest of the people at heart