The House of Representatives has expressed concern over the inefficient and ineffective programme execution of the Federal Government, which it blamed on the late budget presentation.
In his welcome address on the occasion of resumption from Christmas, New Year and Eid-el-Maulud recess on Tuesday, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, speaker, charged the lawmakers to assiduously work to pass the 2014 Appropriation Bill expeditiously.
“Recall also, honourable colleagues, that just before we proceeded on recess, the 2014 Appropriation Bill was submitted by Mr. President. We have continued to express our concern over late budget presentation which often leads to late passage of the budget.
“Poor budget implementation by the executive over the years has continued to test the patience and tolerance of Nigerians of officeholders’ commitment to their welfare. It is important to note that early commencement of budget implementation is of the essence in ensuring full, efficient and effective programme execution.
“Accordingly, therefore, while ensuring all due diligence and scrutiny for the realisation of a pro-people budget we must work assiduously to pass the 2014 Appropriation Bill expeditiously. I am sure that Nigerians can count on our capacity to deliver in this regard.
“Also critical in the consideration of the 2014 budget is the funding of the judicial arm. There have been series of appeals from the chief justice of Nigeria and former chief justices under the auspices of the body of benchers on the need for enhanced funding of the judiciary. The progressive decline of allocation to the judicial branch should be reversed in the interest of the country,” he said.
Aware of politicking that is not too far away, the speaker urged his colleagues to remain totally committed to the execution of their mandate as the people’s representatives.
“In this regard, there are very critical bills requiring our urgent attention, these include the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the Pension Reform Bill and the proposed Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, among others. May I therefore, call on the relevant committees to hasten work on these and other bills before them in order to facilitate their early passage. Of note too is the conclusion of the work on proposals for constitution review,” he added.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday was in a rowdy session over comment by Femi Gajabiamila referring to the deputy majority leader, Leo Ogor, as the deputy minority leader.
Trouble started when Gbajabiamila stood up to contribute to a motion earlier moved by Ali Madaki, requesting for the removal and dismissal of the inspector-general of police (IG) and Rivers commissioner of police (CP).
Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos) who refused to withdraw his statement insisted that it was based on the provisions of the House rules on majority party in the House.
He said that it would be a breach of privilege of the APC as a party not to demand for its rightful place in the House.
He said that the purpose of any government was to protect its citizens.
The speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, advised members to always abide by court orders.
TEDDY NWANUNOBI, Abuja