The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, has identified why budget padding occurs.
Enang spoke at the Legislative Lawyers Forum, LLF, during the just concluded 2016 Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, conference in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He noted that special attention being accorded sectoral allocation in the annual budget, leaving other details in the hands of appropriation committees of the legislature to approve for government agencies and parastatals, was a major factor.
He said: “There is the common practice that after bills may have been passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, the legal department now re-drafts the bills, perhaps, changing certain words to give them a presentation in a legal draftsman’s perfect legislative draft. This, in my view, is inconsistent with the provisions of the law.”
Enang in the paper presentation, entitled “Fresh Perspectives in Legislative Practice: Who Makes the Law, Legislature in Session, Committees or Legislators’ Bureaucracy?” posited that as practised in the current dispensation since June 1999, legislators’ bureaucracy and not legislature in session made the law by making the final draft of such laws, before forwarding such bills already passed by legislature in session to the President or Governor for assent through the Clerk to the parliament.