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Dogara decries executive excesses, appeals to lawmakers for reversal of trend

Dogara (file photo)

‘Nigeria is running a government of monarchy rather than a democracy, going by the recent actions taken by the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration’

By Ahmed Ahmed

Nigeria’s former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has appealed to lawmakers to curb the executive excesses by forcing it to account for any public fund spent in governance.

Dogara made the appeal at a one-day technical session for Speakers of State Houses of Assembly organized by PERL-ECP in collaboration with the Conference of Speakers in Abuja.

With the theme of the session, “Effective Leadership for Emerging Legislatures: Lessons, Challenges, Opportunities, and Recommendations, Dogara stated: “You have been called upon to provide leadership in institutions that safeguard our liberty.

“I am urging you, regardless of how you came into office, to spare no effort in curbing executive excesses and holding the executive accountable.

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“When there is effective leadership in a legislature that is aware of its responsibilities, the executive cannot approach the legislature to provide legislative endorsement for any brazen illegality.”

Dogara also said that Nigeria was running a government of monarchy rather than a democracy, going by the recent actions taken by the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration.

“For those who doubt that we are in a monarchy, not a democracy, let me provide one recent example.

“Recall that the executive had raised trillions of Naira through means and methods that lacked explicit legislative authorization.

“That viiolated the express provisions of Section 38 of the CBN Act of 2007 as amended. The Parliament was asked to approve the advances to the government, which had increased from approximately N789.6 billion in May 2015 to N22.7 trillion in 2023.

 “In the days when the powers of the legislature were on the rise, such a request from the Executive would have been rejected outright.”

The ex-speaker said that the parliament was faced with an enormous dilemma because even if it had amended the CBN Act, as was subsequently done in one fell swoop, such a measure would not legalize the violations of the laws that occurred prior to the amendment.

“Only a rogue legislature would give any legislative measure retrospective effect. However, to demonstrate that we are governed by the whims of powerful individuals and not the law, this blatantly and evidently illegal advance of a staggering N22.7 trillion was passed by one of the Houses of the national parliament.”

He explained, “Section 38 of the CBN Act of 2007, as referred to above, empowers the bank to grant temporary advances to the government.

“However, Sub-Section 2 of the Act clearly limits the amount that can be advanced to the government. The ‘total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the previous year’s actual revenue of the federal government.

 “The subsequent subsection also clearly stipulates the repayment of such advances, stating explicitly that they ‘shall be repaid as soon as possible and shall.’

“In any event, be repayable by the end of the Federal Government financial year in which they are granted, and if such advances remain unpaid at the end of the year, the power of the bank to grant such further advances in any subsequent years shall not be exercisable unless the outstanding advances have been repaid.”

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