OrderPaperToday – A member-elect in the House of Representatives for Balanga/Billiri federal constituency of Gombe State, Mr. Victor Danzaria, has appealed to his colleagues to cut down on personal expenses so that more funds can be allocated to oversight functions of the parliament.
The appeal was made during the orientation programme organized by the National Assembly management for senators and house of representatives members-elect.
Mr. Danzaria was reacting to a presentation made by Prof. Shola Omotola, titled “Legislative Oversight: Principles, Benchmarks and Best Practices” in a session chaired by former Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Ben Efeturi.
According to the presenter, “the objective of oversight has been completely eroded because in most cases lawmakers tend to depend on government agencies for funding of their oversight activities
“The instrument of oversight should be strengthened and this depends on you the legislators, you don’t go looking for them (the agencies) and if there’s no money don’t do oversight if there’s no funding.”
Colloborating the position of the presenter, Mr. Efeturi said there are allocations meant for committee work and oversight actives and therefore, it was needless for lawmakers to chase after government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He further emphasized that the issue of insufficient funding for oversights lies with the national assembly because the presiding officers have powers to increase budgetary allocations for oversight activities.
On his part, Victor Danzaria said the oversight was the most important function of the legislature and therefore sacrifices should be made by lawmakers through cutting down of personal expenses so as to encourage effective oversights.
“I agree with the submissions of both the Professor and the moderator of this session; I will want the principal officers of the 9th assembly to to pay particular attention to the issue of funding for oversights. They should make enough budgetary provisions that will boost oversight since that is one of our principal function. we are here because of Nigerians so I don’t mind if my salary or allowances are deducted to boost funding for effective oversight activities.”