Budget padding, part of legislative functions – Kwara Speaker
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August 16, 2016 ( Post 1 )
Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, has said there is legitimate padding of budget.
According to Ahmad, when a budget is presented before the House of Assembly, for instance from the President to the National Assembly, it is the duty of the legislature to look into the budget proposal, make necessary additions or subtractions of both the items and the amounts budgeted for.
Ahmad, in an interview with our correspondent in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, however, said the changes must be known to the relevant committees and the whole House.
According to him, the legitimate padding which involves the House analysing the budget items and the amounts, to know their relevance and feasibleness, is a normal legislative function.
Ahmad, however, described imputation of items and amounts into the budget, unknown and not approved by the relevant committees and the House as illegitimate budget padding.
Ahmad said, “Budget padding depends on what we mean by budget padding. We have heard of a lot of stories about it and by now, Nigerians should be educated enough about legislative process. Nigerians know very little about legislative process. Our belief is that once the President lays the appropriation bill, it should come out the way it is laid. So any addition or subtraction is not good. If that is what we mean by padding, then it is wrong.
He added, “Today some of the members are saying that somebody inserted something that the whole house is not aware of. If there is evidence to that, then that is illegal padding.
“Illegal padding is corruption because you are corruptly using the name of the House, putting something in the budget which the House does not know and which after signing you can now go and use it and the House does not know. That one is corruption.”
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