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Fashola NASS has no right to increase budget

Fashola said this while speaking at the annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

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Babatunde Fashola in a file photo in Lagos REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye play Babatunde Fashola in a file photo in Lagos REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said lawmakers in the National Assembly have not right to increase the budget.

Fashola said since the lawmakers do not have the power to collect tax, they do not have any business tinkering with the budget.

The minister also said the Executive and Legislature should collaborate regarding the budget process to avoid friction.

The House of Representatives has been in the news lately, following allegations of budget padding levelled against its Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, by the former Chairman of the appropriation committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin.

Speaking on the role of the legislature and executive in the budget process at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) annual conference, Fashola said “I like to say that it is not appropriate for parliament to unilaterally seek to increase the budget because they do not collect taxes.

“I think there should be collaboration between the executive and the legislature in the budgeting process.  In this process, clear lines should be drawn because compromise is better achieved where all parties know their rights.”

He also spoke on the need for lawmakers to nominate constituency projects that will add value to the life of the common man on the street.

Adding that “If we say constituency projects, we must make sure they are not senators’ projects. Even if they were nominated by senator or state lawmakers, they must be the projects that the constituency own.

“In cases where the lawmaker who started the project is not returned, the person who takes over should continue the project. This is not the case we have.

“What we see are new legislators coming and starting their own projects. In my ministry, we have over 200 constituency projects with no parentage. I have said we must finish these projects, but people are nominating new ones. I said we must finish the old ones.”

Fashola also revealed that the Mambilla power station in Taraba State will likely boost electricity generation in the country by adding 3000MW to the national grid.

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