Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, says the oversight function of the parliament is crucial to holding the Executive arm of government accountable.
Abbas while speaking on Tuesday at a workshop organised by the Directorate of Planning and Legislative Budget of the National Assembly in Abuja, on the theme “Assessment of the national monitoring and evaluation policy of Nigeria and the role of legislator”, noted that the government must be accountable to the citizens.
The Speaker, who was represented by the Chairman of the House Committee on the Legislative Budget, Mohammed Bio, said the agenda of the 10th Assembly is to ensure that through oversight, “our commonwealth is properly managed for the benefit of all Nigerians”.
He said monitoring and evaluation constitute a major part of the constitutional responsibility of the legislature known as oversight, adding that the parliament would also be accountable to the public.
Abbas said through oversight, the legislature ensures other arms of government remain accountable to citizens on the utilisation of public funds, including the implementation of policies and laws.
The Speaker said, “Monitoring and evaluation as a national policy is a framework designed as a way of institutionalising 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, resources, and application to achieve good governance.
“The National Assembly, as the legislative arm of the government, is a critical democratic institution that is empowered to conduct monitoring and evaluation of executive bodies, by the provision of Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution.
“Through this important function, 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.”
Abbas assured that the 10th Assembly will discharge “this very critical function”, stressing that “it will no longer be business as usual in the conduct of oversight”.
He said to enhance the oversight function of the parliament, the various committees’ chairpersons are mandatorily required to make quarterly reports of their activities to the leadership of the house.