The senator representing Lagos West Senatorial District, Senator Solomon Adeola has called on the 8th National Assembly to immediately seek the activation and operation of the National Assembly Budget and Research Office, NABRO to ensure that the legislature fulfil its mandate for effective legislation and representation.
Contributing to the debate on the Legislative Agenda for the 8th Senate, the senator said beyond making laws and oversight, a major function of the legislature is the “power of the purse” which is the power to appropriate funds through budget adding that the executive will always want the yearly budget to be passed without scrutiny of the legislature, a situation he foresees will end with the operation of NABRO, which is the equivalent of USA Congressional Budget Office.
“The operation of NABRO would greatly assist in providing data for effective scrutiny of budget as presented by the executive as relevant research would have been done and provided for the legislature to query assumptions of government agencies. We need to ensure that NABRO which has been passed into law since the 6th National Assembly become fully operational to ensure we do the job we were elected to do” he stated in his contribution.
He said the Legislative arm of government cannot afford to lose the power of the purse and NABRO will assist in critical scrutiny of Appropriation Bills as well as Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF as they cannot be taken as sacrosanct without questioning adding that each committee of the Senate should be supported in the interim by qualified consultants in relevant fields.
Senator Adeola said the Legislative Agenda of the 8th Senate is a policy document to guide the Senate and should serve as a roadmap for its activities adding that its articulation shows the sincerity and seriousness of the current National Assembly.
The Senate president, Senator Bukola Saraki adjourned the debate till next week after contributions from Senator Remi Tinubu and others on various sections of the agenda.