House Of Reps Says N134 billion NASS Budget Is Too Small
Benjamin Kalu, believes that the N134 billion allocated to the national assembly in the 2022 budget is inadequate, given the depreciation of the naira and its purchasing power in recent years.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The House of Representatives’ spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu, claims that the N134 billion allotted to the national legislature in the 2022 budget is insufficient, considering that the Naira and buying power have deteriorated significantly in recent years.
In a news conference on Thursday, Kalu stated: “The reality of the national assembly budget at N134 billion, I can assure you, and you can throw the stones and do the name-calling, and call us anything you want to call us, but I am willing to take the name-calling as long as the truth is said outside here.
“Many people would ask, ‘are you saying that the money is not enough?’ That is the truth. If you look at the committees and their responsibilities — the work they need to do — they need money to do it and the purchasing power of the money has gone low. It is affecting them, especially on oversight functions.
“The amount of money needed to go on oversight (visits) is no longer sufficient for the job to be done. I stood up (on the floor) to call on the national assembly to review this N134 billion, because there is no need trying to sound acceptable to Nigerians and we are unable to do the job that you have asked us to do. We can be praised for not changing the budget, but the job you asked us to do remains undone.
“There is no wisdom in that. The wisdom is in you understanding that the purchasing power of the budget of the national assembly can no longer take them to fulfil responsibility assigned to them by the constitution. It has been going down from 2019 till date, and this is the reality.”
Since Nigeria’s restoration to democratic government in 1999, lawmakers in the national assembly have faced a barrage of criticism from the public for their exorbitant salaries and perks.
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