Publish your security votes – Dogara challenges governors

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Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, has challenged governors to make public their security votes.

Speaking at a retreat organised by the national assembly in Kaduna on Friday, the nation’s number four citizen also challenged state executives to disclose the amount allocated to local governments.

He was reacting to the demand of Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, who had earlier asked the legislature to make its budget public.

“I will like to challenge him (el-Rufai) to champion this cause for transparency in the budgetary process from the national assembly to other arms of government,” he said.

“We want to see clearly how chief executives of states are paid. What do they spend monthly as security votes? And if they can publish what happens to local government funds under their jurisdictions. That will help our discussion going forward.”

Describing the national assembly as the most misunderstood institution in the country, Dogara said no parliament in the world can win popularity contest.

“When, for instance, public discussions on funding of the legislature are being made, the entire bureaucracy is often completely discountenanced, neither is any consideration given to the fact that this is a special bureaucracy saddled with a multitude of ‘masters’ who must be equally served in addition to service to the nation,” he said.

Dogara, said the Nigeria civil service will begin to record progress when it breaks away from its usual tradition to new ways of carrying out its functions.

He said there ought to be productivity in the workforce and innovation, which is borne out of motivation of staff through rewards such as promotions based on merit.

“As leaders, you must be prepared to motivate the workforce. Motivation is the key to innovation anywhere,” he said.

“For far too long, the bureaucracy in Nigeria has failed to innovate because it is locked in a tradition that defines boundaries that must not be crossed. A tradition that says we have always done it this way and apportions sanctions for those who dare doing it the other way even if the outcomes are better.

“These are chains that bind the bureaucracy in Nigeria from within. Although the most difficult chains to break are those within us, we must break them in order to free the bureaucracy and make it competitive and innovative. The key to achieving this is undoubtedly, training and retraining in an environment such as this.

“The necessity for every manager to fully understand the ecology of his organisation is not negotiable. The legislature is a distinct organisation with several peculiarities, thereby making strategic management approach an imperative.

“The management of the national assembly, whatever their managerial competencies, cannot provide efficient and effective services to the legislature except they fully understand and appreciate the organisational goals, objectives and the attendant challenges.

“I need not warn you of the bitter lesson of life, which is that it will never offer you more than who you are. But the good news is that you can become more. To become more, you must change your ideas and you will never change your ideas until you learn something new.

“New things learnt are useless and cannot result in growth until you put them to use. That is why you cannot over spend on training. Tell me the size of your organisation’s budget for training and retraining and I’ll predict with absolute certainty, the future of your organisation.”

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