The National Assembly Health and Appropriation committees have resolved to push the executive to ensure that budgets passed for all sectors are implemented for the benefit of Nigerians.
This is part of the outcome of a three-day retreat by the committees, on ways to improve Nigeria’s health sector.
Also present at the retreat held at the Pan African Parliament in Johannesburg, were lawmakers from Swaziland and Zimbabwe, who shared experiences from their country.
One of the representatives addressing the committees said “you can make thousands of laws but if they are not implemented, you are just as good as doing nothing”.
Experts in budget research were also on hand to present their findings regarding budgetary performance in Nigeria.
“Instated of allocating more money to health in blanket, let us focus on capital expenditures, because that is what translates to what people get.
“Then quarterly budget releases and implementation report, how can we be deliberating a new budget, if we have not seen the report of what has been vetted in the past.
“The last thing I would recommend is access to the health ministry audit report.
A lot of things have been identified, what exactly are we doing concerning those issues,” an expert said.
According to the committees, “everything begins and falls with leadership” and following the retreat, they are set to enforce the adequate implementation of all budgets from 2017.
Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has advised the in-coming Buhari administration to pay attention to the coordination, capacity boosting and proper functioning of the anti-corruption institutions already on ground in the country, in order to achieve tangible progress in his proposed fight against corruption.
Mr Mbeki was speaking to the media after presenting the African Union high-level report on the illicit financial flows from Africa, which was unanimously adopted by the on-going Pan African Parliament in South Africa.
The 122-page report tagged ‘Track It, Stop It, Take it’ gave details of the findings of how Africa loses billions of dollars annually through practices like money laundering, trade mis-invoicing, shell banks, transfer invoicing and unchecked tax incentives amongst others.
Mr Mbeki, who first started investigating illicit financial flows for the AU in 2012, said they’ve uncovered wide-ranging abuses of financial laws.
“The figure of 50 billion is an underestimate, as it excludes such elements as trading services and intangibles, process of bribery, and trafficking drugs, people and firearms”.
He further noted that the failure of African states to prevent the outflow of capital and tax evasion has had a serious impact on Africa’s growth.
“You know that many of our African countries did not achieve all these MDGs because of insufficient capital to finance the required actions”, he said.
The 6th Ordinary session of the 3rd Pan African Parliament has begun in Midrand near Johannesburg, South Africa.
The meeting, with the African Union aligned theme of Women Empowerment, is expected to discuss some pressing issues which include xenophobia, migrant deaths and insecurity.
Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, a special guest at the opening session did not stop at listing the continent’s various challenges.
He suggested that good governance, bridge building beyond lip service, intra-African trade, jobs for youths and tackling the roots of insecurity would bring desired good to Africans.
Last month, at least seven persons were killed in South Africa in xenophobic attacks that started in Kwazulu-Natal province. Locals were demanding that foreigners should leave their communities.
An influential Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini, was accused of fuelling the xenophobic attacks after local media quoted him as saying that foreigners should leave South Africa.
In West Africa, a terrorist group, Boko Haram, has attacked communities in Nigeria, Niger Republic and Cameroon in the last few years.
They are attempting to establish an Islamic State in the region, with their strong hold in north-east Nigeria.
A Multi-National Joint Task Force was established to tackle the dissidents group, but they have continued to attack towns and villages in Nigeria’s north-east.