The Minister of Power, Workers and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said Federal lawmakers have no right to increase national budget since they don’t collect tax.
Speaking at a forum organised by the Nigerian Bar Association on Monday, the former Lagos State governor, said the legislature lacked the power to unilaterally increase national budget.
Stating that the major responsibility of the legislature was representation, Fashola expressed the need for collaboration between the two arms of government in the budget process, stressing that it will help to avoid friction.
Fashola said, “I like to say that it is not appropriate for parliament to unilaterally seek to increase the budget because they do not collect taxes.
“I think there should be collaboration between the executive and the legislature in the budgeting process. In this process, clear lines should be drawn because compromise is better achieved where all parties know their rights.”
On constituency projects, Fashola said that lawmakers are in the habit of abandoning projects.
“If we say constituency projects, we must make sure they are not senators’ projects. Even if they were nominated by senator or state lawmakers, they must be the projects that the constituency own.
“In cases where the lawmaker who started the project is not returned, the person who takes over should continue the project. This is not the case we have.
“What we see are new legislators coming and starting their own projects. In my ministry, we have over 200 constituency projects with no parentage. I have said we must finish these projects, but people are nominating new ones. I said we must finish the old ones.”