Underfunding, Bane Of Legislative Oversight Functions – Osun Assembly | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Underfunding, Bane Of Legislative Oversight Functions – Osun Assembly

Posted: Mar 3, 2016 at 6:22 am   /   by   /   comments (2)

Gbenga Faturoti, Osogbo

Osun State House of Assembly has identified poor funding of the legislative arm of government as a major factor militating against effective oversight functions of lawmaking in Nigeria.

The lawmakers raised the issue during the retreat held at Ijebu-Jesa for members on legislative practices and procedures.

Leading the discussion, the Speaker, Hon. Nojeem Salaam, said oversight function of the state house of assembly would have been more effective, if the legislative arm had been properly funded and given financial autonomy.

The speaker noted that in spite of the paucity of fund; the Osun Assembly was doing a lot to ensure that the activities of the executive are well-monitored and checked.

Hon. Kamadeen Akanbi representing Ede North State Constituency in the state House, regretted that all relevant legislative committees in the Assembly were being underfunded.

He suggested that in the face of economic reality, a resolution should be passed by the assembly that the parliament should be informed on any release of fund beyond N1 million for the Assembly to be aware and monitor same.

The lawmaker also regretted that the state Houses of Assembly was not being involved in the release of fund they appropriated for.

Hon. Olatunbosin Oyintiloye, representing Obokun State Constituency, who doubles as the Chairman House Committee on Information and Strategy, said, if the oversight functions of the legislature are allowed to work effectively, it would reduce corruption and inefficiency, encourage, promote service delivery and enables Nigerians get higher dividends of democracy.

He said if there is effective oversight function, it will be easier and quicker to track deviation from project specifications, compromises of rules and abuse in the system.

Also, Hon. Wasiu Adebayo (Olorunda); and Babatunde Olatunji, among others, said the oversight functions could only be more effective if funds are made available.

In his lecture entitled, “Deepening Legislative Oversight for Social Peace and Democratic Consolidation”, Dr. Benjamin Aluko of the University of Ibadan, reportedly said, it has come to a point that legislative arm of government should begin to look for bodies that could give grant to fund legislative oversight functions.

In seeking the grant, he said, the parliament must show seriousness and courage to effectively perform these functions to serve the purpose of their representation.

He said, rather than relying on information provided by MDAs, the legislature must chart its course, networks and use its independent machinery to get the desire result.

He also suggested that legislative committees of the house should engage the services of consultants and academia for the provision of technical support required to make law to promote social peace and economic progress.