SENATE FLAYS DEMAND FOR FUND FROM MDAS FOR OVERSIGHT FUNCTIONS
BY HENRY UMORU
ABUJA - THE Senate, yesterday, said it is not only constitutionally wrong for the National Assembly to demand, expect or obtain assistance from government ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, in carrying out oversight functions, but ethically not acceptable.
Speaking while commissioning National Assembly ICT Research and Training Centre, Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, noted that the functions and powers of law makers would be compromised if such benefits and needs were sought.
He said: 'Though the legislative power of oversight is a constitutional one, its efficacy, however, derives from the legislature's moral authority to exercise it. Therefore, if the support of any kind is requested or obtained from the ministries, departments and agencies to be over-sighted in carrying out that responsibility, the legislature's powers and functions would have, ab initio, been compromised.'
The Senate leader, however, stressed the need for the National Assembly to exploit the advances in information and communication technology to support its care functions of legislation, appropriation, oversight, advocacy and confirmations.
He also stressed the need for the legislature to abide by the Freedom of Information Act without which he said the legislature would lose its moral authority to oversight the executive.
He said: 'Technology must be applied to modernise our operations and the institution itself to achieve greater efficiency, accountability to voters and our electoral constituencies and assess the performance of individual legislators', he said.