* States have powers to determine number of LGAs, says Akeredolu
By Tunde Adetunji, Abuja
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said over 90 percent of the constituency projects in the controversial 2016 budget have been implemented by the Federal Government.
He also stated that the 2017 budget that was recently signed into law by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, was done with the instrumentality of lobbying by both arms of government and that is why they have achieved a seamless budget.
Dogara disclosed this at a one day seminar with the theme “Executive – Legislative Relations: Gaps, Challenges and Prospects” organised by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), an arm of the Department of State Services (DSS) for participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 10 in Abuja yesterday.
Dogara, who was represented by the Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Hon. Alhassan Ado Doguwa, in a paper titled, ” Executive – Legislative Relations and Good Governance, Challenges and Prospects”, said the rancour between the executive and the legislative arms of government was to strengthen democracy,stressing that it was the media that is overblowing the issue to make it look as if the executive and the legislative arms of government were fighting.
“I think one major solution that will improve our relationship between the executive and the legislative arm of government is the proper and effective utilisation of the infrastructure of the instrumentality of lobbying.
“When you have an institution like the national assembly and the only thing you can do is the instrument of lobby and is always allowed. It is an institutional instrument and the government of the day have effectively make use of the instrument of lobbying to the signing of the 2017 budget.
“Even the controversial 2016 budget where the issue of constituency projects was raised, I want to say that over 90 percent of the projects have been successfully implemented by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
Also, Governor of Ondo State, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in his presentation titled “Managing Conflicts in Executive-Legislative Relations”, said the states was the only federating units that have the power to determine the number of local governments it wants to create, adding the National Assembly should think thoroughly before seeking for autonomy in the ongoing constitution amendment.
He added that conflicts is an integral part of any democratic principles and their is bound to be disagreement for meaningful deliberations to take place.
“States are the only federating units that have the power to determine how its local government should be run,” he said.
In his presentation, governor of Ebonyi state, David Umahi said the federal government should always save for rainy days whenever budgets was going to be presented and implemented, adding that Nigerians must also change their attitude in moving the country forward.