The event is a Colloquium conceived by OrderPaper.ng, Nigeria’s premier independent parliamentary reporting portal to address contentious issues on the Budget and will bring together several top government officials from both arms of government to share ideas, perspectives and experiences on the Appropriation process as provided for in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The high-profile event billed to hold on September 26, 2016 in Abuja will attract attendance and participation from critical stakeholders in the Executive, Legislature (National and State Assemblies), Academia, Media, Nigeria’s Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations, Community-based Organizations, Private Sector and other stakeholders, including political operators across partisan divides.
According to Mr. Oke Epia, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of OrderPaper.ng, “the focus on the budget at the Colloquium in September is a deliberate attempt to address fundamental issues that have arisen on the budget especially in recent times.
“There is need to deepen the debate about which arm of government plays what roles in the Appropriation Process and to exactly what extent. Where does the National Assembly’s power of appropriation begins and ends? Is the Executive vested with unquestionable powers regarding the estimates it sends to the Legislature as annual Budgets? Or on the reverse, is the Legislature conferred with such far-reaching powers as to be able to substantially alter the estimates so received from Mr. President or a State Governor? What about the disturbing lexicon of ‘Padding’ that has dogged the 2016 budget like a leech? These are questions to be addressed by a holistic gathering of Executive; Legislature; Experts in Constitutional Law; and Civil Society actors, among others invited to attend The Gallery Colloquium on September 26.”
It is noteworthy that Tambuwal before his ascension to the Executive position of Sokoto State Governor, was Speaker of the House of Representatives in the 7th Assembly and had also been a principal officer of the lower chamber in the preceding tenure. He is expected to add a rich comparative perspective to the Budget debate with his experience across both arms of government.
Speaker Dogara on the other hand, being a key figure in the 2016 Budget process that has continually been dogged by controversy, is expected to bring his contemporary experience especially with respect to the controversial concept of ‘padding’ to bear on the conversations come September 26.
Sen. Udoma as Minister in charge of the national budget and one who has been a Leader of the Senate and former Chairman of the Appropriation Committee of the Upper Chamber, is expected to deliver a keynote address that will enrich the debate on the budget.
The Colloquium, tagged ‘The Gallery’ is a signature programme of OrderPaper.ng conceived to provide a platform for various stakeholders in the democratic project to cross-fertilize ideas and proffer suggestions and solutions on thorny issues bordering on the triumvirate of Legislature; the Executive; and the Electorate.
The broad Objective of The Gallery is to provide a forum to smoothen rough edges towards better inter-governmental relations and improved cooperation for the ultimate benefit of democracy and the Nigerian nation in general.
OrderPaper.ng is Nigeria’s premier multi-platform media company dedicated to reporting, tracking and archiving activities of the legislature as an arm of government for the digital generation. As the first authentic and independently-driven online medium of interface between citizens and elected representatives, its mission is to deepen democratic growth and development. OrderPaper.ng is non-partisan, non-aligned and non-discriminatory; and is founded on and guided by TRUTH, BALANCE, FAIRNESS and the pursuit of EQUITY.