Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, are among top public officials that will dissect the budgetary process as a key interface between the executive and legislative arms of government in Nigeria.
The event is a colloquium conceived by OrderPaper.ng, Nigeria’s premier independent parliamentary reporting portal to address contentious issues on the Budget and will bring together several top government officials from both arms of government to share ideas, perspectives and experiences on the Appropriation process as provided for in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The high-profile event billed to hold on September 26, 2016 in Abuja, will attract attendance and participation from critical stakeholders in the executive, legislature (national and state assemblies), academia, media, Nigeria’s development partners, civil society organisations, community-based organisations, private sector and other stakeholders, including political operators across partisan divides.
According to Mr. Oke Epia, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of OrderPaper.ng, “the focus on the budget at the colloquium is a deliberate attempt to address fundamental issues that have arisen on the budget especially in recent times.
“There is need to deepen the debate about which arm of government plays what roles in the appropriation process and to exactly what extent. Where does the National Assembly’s power of appropriation begin and end? Is the executive vested with unquestionable powers regarding the estimates it sends to the legislature as annual budgets? Or on the reverse, is the legislature conferred with such far-reaching powers as to be able to substantially alter the estimates so received from Mr. President or a state governor? What about the disturbing lexicon of ‘Padding’ that has dogged the 2016 budget like a leech? These are questions to be addressed by a holistic gathering of executive; legislature; experts in constitutional law; and civil society actors, among others invited to attend The Gallery Colloquium on September 26.”
It is noteworthy that Tambuwal before his ascension to the Executive position of Sokoto State Governor, was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 7th Assembly and had also been a principal officer of the lower chamber in the preceding tenure. He is expected to add a rich comparative perspective to the Budget debate with his experience across both arms of government.
Dogara on the other hand, being a key figure in the 2016 Budget process that has continually been dogged by controversy, is expected to bring his contemporary experience especially with respect to the controversial concept of ‘padding’ to bear on the conversations come September 26.
Udoma as minister in charge of the national budget and one who has been a Leader of the Senate and former Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the Upper Chamber, is expected to deliver a keynote address that will enrich the debate on the budget.