Dyepkazah Shibayan, Abuja
A former spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Eseme Eyibo, Thursday said that there is nothing like budget padding hence, adjustments must be made before it is passed into law.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Eyibo explained that based on Section 80 (4) of the constitution, the budget proposals sent by the executive to the national assembly gives room for adjustments by the latter.
“I have read from traditional and new media one language which is strange in the context of our understanding our legislature which is the word padding.
“I know padding is associated with tailoring, fashion but I am not conversant with the word padding as it is associated to appropriation process.
“It becomes difficult for an average man in the street to understand that in the course of budget preparation and the input of the legislature, there would definitely be the issue of adjustment, the adjustment could be deleted or added and something could be allowed to serve as it were.
“There are bound to be indiscretion and how can this indiscreet be taken care of, the essence for the public procurement act was to enforce the principle of accountability and thin out possibility of corruption but the challenge has there been the enforcement or compliance, the full principles of the public procurement act?
“In our own understanding, the budget proposals as presented by the executive was intended to come through the legislature so that the issue of checks and balances, separation of powers would be strengthened and when that is done, that does not take away the input and contribution of the legislature into that proposal and if that were so they wouldn’t have been a pre-budget meeting or oversight”, he said
He stated that the integrity of the Institution of the legislature must be protected despite the issues it may have.
Eyibo further appealed to the Nigerian public to give a chance to the legislature.