Sunday, April 28, 2013

N’Assembly can’t tackle president over delayed bill — Senator

He said the legislative arm of government could not exercise its powers to veto the 2013 Appropriation Bill, which was signed about four months after it was passed, because of partisanship by the leadership of the Assembly.
Kaka, a former deputy governor of Ogun State representing the Action Congress of Nigeria at the Assembly, said this in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday.
The lawmaker, who said no bill had ever been vetoed by the legislature, stated that a large number of bills passed by the current seventh Assembly were still waiting for presidential assent.
Kaka said, “We believe that both individual and executive bills should be given equal attention. Rather than tempting the National Assembly to veto it, it is better for it to be signed by Mr. President when necessary. And if he has any objection, it is better to bring it forward so that necessary corrections can be made and we’ll be able to move forward.
“Until we have enduring democracy, where we have a balance between the ruling and the opposition (parties), we won’t be able veto bills in the overall interest of our people. Right now, partisanship takes a prime place.
“The 2013 budget was passed in December and Mr. President did not assent to it until March, and the National Assembly could not veto because they have the majority. The PDP members could not see beyond their party. Otherwise, if we were convinced of what we had done, we could have carried out the veto.”
Kaka said for democracy to develop, there must be an appropriate balance in the membership of the Assembly.
He added that the ongoing merger by major opposition parties in the country to form the All Progressives Congress, would end the dominance of the ruling party in the legislature.
“With that, there will always be a credible alternative. Right now, with many parties, and with one being over-dominant, it will be difficult for our democracy to develop,” the lawmaker added.

No comments: