Executive, Legislative show down looms over Buhari’s approval of $1 billion security funds
Following President Muhammad u Buhari’s approval of $1 billion for arms procurement without the consent of National Assembly, Nigeria Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said, Senators are angry.
He said, the failure of Mr President to seek clearance of Senators to use $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account to buy arms for the military to tackle Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges facing the country would generate controversy.
It will be recalled that the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had asked the National Assembly to invoke the necessary constitutional sanction against the president for spending money from the national treasury without going through the necessary process of appropriation.
In the same vein, Senator Ben Bruce, the deputy chairman of Senate Committee on Information had told journalists that the president cannot spend the money without seeking the permission of the National Assembly.
But the presidency had insisted that the President will seek approval of the National Assembly before the funds will be withdrawn for the procurement of the military equipment.
But speaking at a retreat on “Strengthening Executive -Legislature Relations” organised by the Senate Press Corps held in Jos, Plateau state, the Senate President said controversies over the issue could have been avoided if President Buhari had taken the lawmakers on the issue.
According to him, some senators are already angry over the manner the approval was announced without taking them into confidence. “Just few days ago, there was the issue of providing funding for the purchase of security equipment.
In a good environment, such an issue needed to have been discussed with lawmakers. “Already, some senators are angry. They said they were not consulted by the executive before such a decision was taken.
These are the issues we are talking about,” the senate President said. The Senate President also blamed heads of some security agencies in the country for contributing to the frosty relationship between the executive and the legislature.
“There is no the security architecture of this country that can work without a strong synergy between the executive and the legislature. “When you see certain agencies, who by their actions and utterances frustrate the relationship between the two arms, you begin to wonder. “What do we need to do?
Do the police need more funding or more powers? Do they need new legislations to strengthen them? These are the issues where the executive and the legislature must work together. “I needed to be here to speak on these issues.
It is not just about today. Posterity will be here to judge us that what I am saying is true. If we do not change the way we behave, we will remain like this for many years to come,” he said.
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