Nigerian Journal of Legislative Affairs

Year : 2014-01-06

Year: 2014-01-06

Volume: 6

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Nigerian’s Public Account Committees – PACs enjoy enormous constitutional and parliamentary powers compared to the PACs across the world, especially as it relates to organisational and institutional characteristics. Disturbingly, these powers do not reflect in the effectiveness of state Assemblies’ PACs in the country. A random survey of institutional and organizational characteristics of a state parliament in each of the six geo-political zones of the country as it relates to right of access, accounts and operations, Auditor General’s report and PACs size; representation of opposition members, opposition chair and number of support staff shows that Nigeria’s PACs appear to be bigger, with good support and wide powers than PACs operating in the rest of the world. Also, a scatter plot on powers in relation to location of PACs in Nigeria shows that distance between the Northern PACs and South’s of the country do not correspond to differences in PACs effectiveness i.e. Northern PACs have both wide and narrow powers. This was supported by a gamma correlation to test the efficacy of findings which indicates that it is statistically insignificant to support the degree of PACs effectiveness or differentiation from one region of the country to another. The study further reveals that Nigeria’s PACs have low opposition MPs on board in relation to the rest of the world and chairmanship of the opposition is not effective to PACs activities in Nigeria.

Democracy assigns a central role to the legislature, such that, through its oversight functions, the “will” of the people is expected to be made to prevail. Though historically, the legislature has played peripheral role in foreign policy making, it was believed that hoped that national developmental aspirations would be stimulated by a more meaningful contribution of the legislature. However, this has not been possible because of institutional opposition to a more effective involvement of the National Assembly in the foreign policy process and the lack of enthusiasm on the part off many legislators to get involved in that sphere of governance. Notwithstanding the many obstacles, the legislature has been making some efforts geared towards any meaningful engagement of the nation’s foreign policy, through the screening of ambassadorial appointments, the ratification and domestication of treaties, the deployment of parliamentary diplomacy and the more activist interrogation of the Nigerian Diaspora. However, the continued marginalization of the National Assembly by some critical elements in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects a lack of appreciation of the critical significance of the role of the legislature in giving strength and validation to the nation’s foreign policy. It was argued that the legislature would have to overcome its own lukewarm attitude to whole process of foreign policy making, make more efforts to increase the knowledge of members in in international relations, through capacity building and, where necessary, the use of consultants in making meaningful input into the nation’s foreign policy agenda. In addition, effort should be made to improve its institutional capacity, by reorganizing its legislative work in this regard and the recruitment of staff with requisite expertise as well as development of a collaborative working relationship with think-tanks, and other relevant institutions.

Populations affected by violent conflicts often withstand threats to their security as well as to their livelihoods. This is especially the case in areas where traditional means of livelihood in North-East Nigeria as a result of the Boko Haram conflict. In a region where competition between communities for scarce resources, especially water and grazing land, has been on the increase, the conflict has further exacerbated threats to turn, livelihood failure due to the conflict has the potential to contribute to the worsening of conflict by weakening the social fabrics of the society. Using the livelihood framework as an analytical tool, this paper explores this complex relationship between conflict and livelihoods security in the region with particular reference to Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, where the conflict has been endemic. Result findings, based and qualitative analytical process, shows how shocks, resulting from the conflict, are transmitted to household welfare. These shocks include loss of lives, damage to infrastructure, displacement, limited access to food and agricultural land, market restrictions and human right abuses. The thrust of this paper is not to measure the cost of the conflict but to increase understanding on how violent conflicts Impact household living in conflict settings.

The study assesses the implications of the growing discoveries of oil and gas in Africa south of the Sahara on Nigeria’s political power, using the descriptive research orientation. It revealed that the supply of crude oil to African states on concessionary rates build up Nigeria’s political power and influence in Africa on issues related to these countries. The discoveries of vast deposits of oil and gas in these countries, which were formally dependent on Nigeria, has inversely diminished Nigeria’s political power quotient. The poor management of crude oil resources, which has not been used to develop other sectors of the economy compounds this. A situation, which its availability has been described as a curse rather than a cure for development. The study recommended that Nigeria should embark on prudent utilization of the proceeds from crude oil for industrialization. It should refine its crude within and establish other industrial concerns, which utilize the bye-products of crude oil processing as raw materials. Thus, the economy would have forward and backward linkages. The policy option is the Keynesian economic principles; which prescribed massive intervention in the economy, because the private sector in Nigeria is not well developed to drive the economy.

It has been observed that tax revenue projections have persistently not been met in Nigeria in recent time. Both the legislative and executive arms of government have been actively involved in the search for solutions to reverse the fiscal challenge with little success. The study examines impact of how provision of basic amenities by individuals and firms (private sector government), hitherto the responsibility of formal government impacted on the ability and willingness of households and firms to pay taxes in Nigeria especially during the current democratic dispensation: 1999-2013. It uses descriptive and analytical methods of analysis. It finds that the federal government of Nigeria has not adequately delivered on its responsibility with respect to provision of basic amenities and may not be able to enforce tax compliance. Similarly, Nigerian citizens have not been paying their taxes, as and when do, which should empower them to demand for accountability and provision of basic amenities from the government. Both situation have significantly impaired willingness and ability to pay direct taxes, respectively. The average tax effort for the period 2000-2013 was poor as it stood at 6.6%. It recommends that both the government and governed have to meet each other’s responsibilities as entrenched in the contractual agreement between government and governed.

  • Ricardo Pelizzo

  • Alli W.O.

  • Jake Dan-Azumi

  • Etim Okon Frank

  • Asimiyu G. Abiola