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Again, Reps Say NASS Needs More Money, Want N16bn Maintenance Fee Doubled

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A Gombe State federal lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Yunusa Abubakar has declared that the amount of money allocated to the National Assembly is grossly inadequate to run its affairs.

Abubakar who is also a member of the house committee on house services says the amount made available as running cost to the National Assembly management should be doubled.

The House of Rep member made his view known during an interview with Channels Television on Tuesday.

He said: “The assembly is not broke as such, but when you talk about inadequacy, the amount allocated to the national assembly is somewhat grossly inadequate to run the structure that exists in the assembly.”

“It is obvious the N16 billion naira allocated to the national assembly management is not enough. According to the bureaucracy ( the national assembly administration), to maintain our chamber alone, they are spending over N40 million monthly.”

When the legislator was asked how much he feels would be enough for the national assembly management to run its affairs, he declared: “going by our need assessment, the amount should have been doubled”.

“Everybody knows that we do live coverage and we are charged how many millions for it. Running it is very costly.

“What is taking the chunk of the money is how to conduct the day to day business of the legislative arm of government.”

His submission comes a few days after Naija News reported that the spokesman for the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu has declared that the House is broke and in need of more funds.

The lawmaker added on Thursday while speaking with newsmen in Abuja that this has made the lawmakers unable to carry out some constitutional functions.

He argued that the budget for the National Assembly was done when the exchange rate was N180 to one dollar but now that the rate has increased to about N400, there is the need to review the monetary provision for the House upward as well to enable it to cope with its duties.

He also clarified that the N128 billion appropriated for the National Assembly was divided among all the agencies in the parliament, which include about 6,000 members of staff and lawmakers’ aides.

Kalu submitted that it is wrong for Nigerians to think the lawmakers have appropriated a huge sum of money to themselves at the expense of the citizens.

Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the rate of increase in the price of goods and services.

According to a report released on Tuesday, the CPI/Inflation index increased to 17.33 percent in February, the highest point since April 2017.

The report added that the food inflation stood at 21.79 percent, the highest point since the 2009 data series began.

In a related development, Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has been ranked third on a list of countries with the highest unemployment rate globally.

The country’s unemployment rate hit a new record high at 33.3 percent in fourth quarter (Q4) 2020 from 27.1 recorded in second quarter (Q2) 2020.

According to the Q4 unemployment report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday, a total of 23.18 million persons in Nigeria either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed during the fourth quarter (Q4) 2020.

Source: Naija News

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