Non-passage of budget sends wrong signal to Nigerians, says Yadudu
• Urges NASS To Collaborate With Executive
Bayero University Kano (BUK) law teacher, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, has said that the passage of the budget requires the collaboration between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
Speaking with The Guardian, Yadudu argued that although the National Assembly has the power to appropriate monies in the budget, it was incumbent on it to take cognizance of the interest of the executive.
According to him: “There is no doubt about the fact that the National Assembly has the power to appropriate. And when they appropriate, of course, they have to do it in collaboration with the Executive arm.
“Whatever they appropriate will have to be in the form of the Appropriation Act. And as an Act of the National Assembly, it requires the assent of the President for it to become law. “So, it is a collaborative effort between the Executive and the Legislative arms.”
He added: “They do have the power to modify it, but once they do it, they need the understanding of the President.” “It is not just that he brought something and they just change it anyhow they wish; the President has the right to propose a budget, which should not be tampered with.”
“But the most important thing is that if there are things they want to propose in the budget, they have to get the understanding of the Executive arm.
“The National Assembly doesn’t have to feel that because they have the power to appropriate, they can appropriate anyhow.” Yadudu, who was legal adviser to former military Head of State, the late Gen. Sani Abacha, noted that non-passage of the budget could send the wrong signal to Nigerians, who have been at the receiving end of economic meltdown in recent times.
He stated: “It is difficult to say so if the issue of padding has to do with pursuit of selfish agenda of the National Assembly members.”
“All I know is that they have the power to appropriate and it is a collaborative effort between the Legislature and the Executive arms, but the initiative is that of the Executive.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what is the problem now, but I know that the National Assembly has the power to appropriate and when they submit the budget for the assent of the President, he has the right to veto it or to approve it. “So, there has to be a cooperative effort between the two arms of government.”
“Non-passage of the budget can send a wrong signal, but this is not the first time the budget has gone up to the month of April or May without passage. If they pass it early enough, it sends the correct signal and everything would follow what is contained in the Appropriation Act.”
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