House of Representatives

Why House of Reps is broke and legislating in financial crisis ─Spokesman

*Nigeria’s House of Representatives is broke, and is afraid of your complaints as Nigerians to make provision for what will make them run the activities of the House effectively: Hon. Benjamin Kalu, House Spokesman

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For its current inability to appropriate sufficient funds for members to prosecute their legislative functions for the good of Nigerians, the House of Representatives has revealed that it is truly facing a financial crisis, negatively affecting its activities.

Hon. Benjamin Kalu, Spokesman of House of Representatives, who disclosed this development Friday, March 12 during a press conference in Abuja, FCT, stated that the Lower (Green) Chamber of the National Assembly (NASS) yet owes contractors and consultants.

The Federal lawmaker said: “Yes, the House is broke; I have said it before and I am saying it again and I am not afraid to say it.

“The House is broke and it is afraid to appropriate the sufficient amount (of money) for them to do their job.”

According to him, “the House is broke and is afraid of your complaints as Nigerians to make provision for what will make them run the activities of the House effectively.

“That is why today, here (House of Reps Media Centre) is hot; that is why the hearing rooms are not fixed; that is why the house is indebted to contractors who provide one form of service or the other.”

As regards the reason the N128 billion NASS budget is apparently inadequate, Hon. Kalu noted: “This is the fact. Until Nigerians believe that the appropriation that was made for the running of the National Assembly, which happened when Naira was 160 to the Dollar, is less now than what it used to be.

“The Dollar equivalent of naira today has gone up to over N400. The purchasing power of the budget as it is now is weaker than it was 10 years ago.

“The budget of the National Assembly is supposed to be reviewed, in view of its purchasing ability, of the services that will help the Parliament to move forward.”

The lawmaker added that “at the moment, it is a weak budget and that is the truth. I have actually fought with the leadership of the House and I have asked the question, ‘Why are you afraid to raise the budget of the National Assembly that will enable us to conduct our services efficiently and effectively?’.”

He lamented that the House appropriates for government agencies to run effectively, “yet we are in penury to our own constitutional mandate. It is a disservice to Nigerians; the poor budget of the Parliament is a disservice to Nigerians.”

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