Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara and Kaduna State Governor, Mr. Nasir El-Rufai Friday takes on each other over transparency in budgeting, security votes and Local government’s funds.
Governor el-Rufai, who first fired the shot, challenged Speaker Dogara and his fellow legislators to make its budget public.
But, Speaker Dogara while replying Mr. el-Rufai, also challenged the Governors, to, in the spirit of accountability and transparency publish how he utilize funds allocated to local governments.
The speaker was in Kaduna to closed a retreat for management of the National Assembly in Kaduna on Friday.
Dogara said, “I will like to challenge him (El-rufai) to champion this cause for transparency in the budgetary process from the National Assembly to other arms of government. The Judiciary first. We want to see clearly how Chief Executives of States… how they are paid. What do they spend monthly as security votes. And if they can publish what happens to local government funds under their jurisdictions. That will help our discussion going forward,”.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by the management of the federal legislature, Dogara stressed that the National Assembly is the most misunderstood institution and that no parliament in the world can win popularity contest and Nigeria’s National Assembly is not an exception.
“When, for instance, public discussions on funding of the legislature are being made, the entire bureaucracy is often completely discountenanced, neither is any consideration given to the fact that this is a special bureaucracy saddled with a multitude of ‘masters’ who must be equally served in addition to service to the nation,” he explained.
Dogara, said the Nigeria Civil Service will begin to record progress when it breaks away from its usual tradition to new ways of carrying out its functions and administration.
He said for there to be productivity in the workforce, there must be innovation, which is borne out of motivation of staff through rewards such as promotions based on merit.
“As leaders, you must be prepared to motivate the workforce. Motivation is the key to innovation anywhere. For far too long, the bureaucracy in Nigeria has failed to innovate because it is locked in a tradition that defines boundaries that must not be crossed. A tradition that says we have always done it this way and apportions sanctions for those who dare doing it the other way even if the outcomes are better. These are chains that bind the bureaucracy in Nigeria from within. Although the most difficult chains to break are those within us, we must break them in order to free the bureaucracy and make it competitive and innovative. The key to achieving this is undoubtedly, training and retraining in an environment such as this,” said Dogara.