The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Abbas Tajudeen has stated that it is the responsibility of the National Assembly to hold other arms of government accountable which is critical to Nigeria’s democracy.
He also added that the 10th Assembly would be accountable to the public.
This disclosure was made known on Tuesday at a one-day workshop on ‘Assessment of the National Monitoring and Evaluation Policy of Nigeria and the Role of Legislature’ which was organized by the Directorate of Planning and Legislative Budget of the National Assembly.
The Speaker, who was represented by Hon. Mohammed Omar Bio, the Chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Budget, disclosed that the role of the 10th Assembly was to ensure that “our commonwealth is properly managed for the benefit of all Nigerians.”
According to the Speaker, the issue of monitoring and evaluation constitutes a major part of the constitutional responsibility of the Legislature, which is called oversight.
He stressed that as the representatives of the people, the Legislature ensures that the government remains accountable to citizens on the utilization of public funds, as well as in the implementation of policies and laws.
What he said
The Speaker Abbas disclosed that:
- “Monitoring and evaluation as a national policy is a framework designed as a way of institutionalizing standard practices and culture of good governance in public investment and accountability towards the improvement of socio-economic development of the society.
- The policy provides an opportunity to assess the performance of government policies, which enables the government to identify areas of success and for improvement in strategies in resource application to achieve good governance.
- “The National Assembly, has not only successfully exposed high-profile cases of financial mismanagement and corruption but equally helped in the recovery of public funds, nipped misappropriation in the bud, as well as ensuring the judicious use of public resources.”
The Speaker noted that the 10th Assembly House was determined to improve the discharge of conduct of oversight over other arms of government. He promised that “it will no longer be business as usual in the conduct of oversight.”
The Speaker revealed that House committees were now mandatorily required to make quarterly reports of their activities to the leadership of the House and submit reports of any investigative hearings to the House for further legislative actions.
- “In our resolve to improve oversight functions, committee members are now to be guided by certain codes of ethics and guidelines that ensure transparency, accountability as well as insulate members from conflicts of interests.”
The Speaker also disclosed that the 10th Assembly was equally opening up the National Assembly through the ‘Open NASS’ project, which not only engages citizens in legislative activities, particularly oversight but also ensures that citizens can question the National Assembly on its usage of allocated funds.