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The functions of the executive

There are three arms of government, namely, the Legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The executive arm of government is that which is charged with responsibility of formulating policies and implementing same for the smooth administration of the state.

Formulate and implement policies
One of the functions of the executive arm of government is to formulate and implement policies for the smooth administration of the country. After the policies have been formulated, there are state agencies including the Civil Service, which works on behalf of the executive to implement the policies so formulated.

Maintain law and order
Another function of the executive is to maintain law and order within the country. After laws are passed, an agency of the executive must ensure that the laws are respected. In the event of any infraction of the law, the police are mandated to arrest the culprit and arraign him or her before the courts. When found guilty he is convicted but when found innocent, he is freed.

Preparation and implementation of the annual budget
The executive is also tasked with the responsibility of drawing up the annual budget and presenting same to the legislature for approval. The executive does not have the power to implement any budget unless it has been approved by parliament.

Protection of citizens
It is also the duty of the executive arm of government to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of the land. This is done by the country’s police force.

Protection from external aggression
Another function of the executive is to defend the territorial integrity of the state. Where there is an external aggressor trying to attack the country, it is the duty of the executive to ensure that the state is protected. This duty is performed by the armed forces of the state which includes the army, navy and the air force.

Makes laws
The making of laws is not a traditional function of the executive. However, in most governments in modern times, the laws are initiated by the executive and well deliberated upon before they are presented to the legislature to pass into law. In that sense, the executive plays a role in law making. Also, a bill passed by the legislature can be implemented only if the president gives his or her accent. In this sense also, the executive is said to be involved in law making.

1. Highlight six functions of the executive arm of government.

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