From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna
Kaduna state governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has urged members of the State House of Assembly to intensify action on their oversight function in order to ensure efficient budget implementation in the State, saying oversight functions should not be perceived as witch-hunting but a necessary legislative activity that ensures probity and accountability in public sector expenditures.
Yero disclosed this at a one day retreat on implementation of the approved 2014 budget organized for government functionaries yesterday.
According to him, oversight function should be seen as partnership between the executive and legislative arms not as witch-hunting. He added that there was good executive can function without a good legislature.
“I don’t look at oversight as witch-hunting and even if that is the case, I have no fear because the records are there. The House should make oversight more consistent and not only when a budget is presented that you begin to go for inspection, you have to go at all times and if you find any problem please correct us,” he said.
He tasked all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the need to immediately commence implementation of the 2014 approved budget saying “the major problem with implementation is that we all relax as soon as the budget is passed and we wait until the last quarter before we begin to rush to award contracts. We have to begin implementation as soon as the budget is passed.”
The governor said the budget estimates can only be achieved when projected revenue is realized adding that “the biggest challenge is on how we can meet up with the revenue.”
Also speaking at the retreat, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Shehu Tahir, said the Legislature will continue to carry out its oversight function as enshrined in the Constitution.
“Parliamentary oversights seeks to promote and enhance government accountability and transparency by ensuring that the Executive and those bodies to whom authority have been delegated, remain responsible and accountable in the performance of their functions,” the Speaker said.
Represented by his deputy, the Speaker said the major responsibility of the House is to identify and avoid inefficiency and wastage in government while allowing the executive to implement the budget as passed by the Legislature.
In his welcome address, the State Commissioner of Economic Planning, Madami Garba Madami, said the retreat will no doubt put all officials on their toes in working hard for the full implementation of the budget.