Parliament and the power of the purse: the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 in comparative perspective

Since the transition from military rule to a democratically elected government in 1999, Nigeria’s budgetary process has been characterized by a degree of legislative-executive conflict. This article surveys some important constitutional features that inform legislative-executive relations with regard to the budget in a comparative context, and with particular reference to other African constitutions. An attempt is made to assess the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, in this comparative context. The conclusion is that, on balance, the latest Nigerian Constitution gives strong powers to parliament with regard to budgetary matters, particularly in terms of amendment powers, and the wide-ranging investigative powers vested in parliament and its committees. Several issues worth considering during the constitutional review process are highlighted. However, it is argued, there are limits to the extent that a written document can shape political processes and behaviour. Political actors remain responsible for fostering legislative-executive relations that match their preferences, and for safeguarding the broader public interest. Notes. ref., sum. (p. II). [Journal abstract]

Title: Parliament and the power of the purse: the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 in comparative perspective
Author: Wehner, Joachim
Year: 2002
Periodical: Journal of African Law
Volume: 46
Issue: 2
Pages: 216-231
Language: English
Geographic term: Nigeria
External link: http://ejournals.ebsco.com/direct.asp?ArticleID=UH61Q0CAKT6PHBBAXAUC
Abstract: Since the transition from military rule to a democratically elected government in 1999, Nigeria’s budgetary process has been characterized by a degree of legislative-executive conflict. This article surveys some important constitutional features that inform legislative-executive relations with regard to the budget in a comparative context, and with particular reference to other African constitutions. An attempt is made to assess the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, in this comparative context. The conclusion is that, on balance, the latest Nigerian Constitution gives strong powers to parliament with regard to budgetary matters, particularly in terms of amendment powers, and the wide-ranging investigative powers vested in parliament and its committees. Several issues worth considering during the constitutional review process are highlighted. However, it is argued, there are limits to the extent that a written document can shape political processes and behaviour. Political actors remain responsible for fostering legislative-executive relations that match their preferences, and for safeguarding the broader public interest. Notes. ref., sum. (p. II). [Journal abstract]