The word “Senate” originated from the Latin word, “senatus” or “senex” meaning “The Elders”. The term originated from ancient Rome. The defunct Roman Senate remains one of the most enduring institutions in Roman history.
The Nigerian Senate is the upper legislative arm of our National Assembly, consisting of our “Assembly of Elders”.
Whatsoever comic relief the Nigerian Senate is trying to make out of the raging missing budget debacle is demeaning of them as an assembly of elders. Nigerians expect more from them than we are getting considering their composition and the pay check they cash home monthly.
The budget is not a document to be taken with levity. It remains the second most important document in our nation after the constitution. It contains the financial plan of the entire nation for the whole year. We expect our legislators to handle it with care and a certain degree of professionalism. If it’s truly “missing” or “replaced” then whosoever is responsible should be adequately reprimanded. If the leadership of the NASS just wishes to be a trending topic, they should strive to do so for the right reasons.
The practice of presenting budget & fiscal policy to parliament was initiated by Sir Robert Walpole, the then Chancellor of Exchequer because of his vision to restore confidence of the public after the chaos unleashed by the collapse of the South Sea Bubble in 1720.
If we are to stamp out corruption in our generation, a good financial knowledge of governmental activities is required by all and sundry most especially in the annual budget preparation. The budget is a vital tool in governance, it is important to our economic progress & development.
The annual budget will determine whether or not we will make any significant economic progress in the year, all hands must therefore be on deck to make sure that budget at all levels of government- federal, state & local are always well prepared, passed with high level of patriotism and properly monitored to make sure that the government fulfills its obligations to the citizens.
God bless Nigeria.