2014 Budget Benchmark: Presidency splits House with alleged dollar inducements

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The House of Representatives is reportedly divided due to an alleged disbursement of heavy dollar bribe that favoured some members more than others. The Presidency reportedly made huge sum of money available in order to pave way for the smooth sailing of the 2014 budget presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan which has repeatedly been shelved owing to the opposition’s views on key issues like the benchmark adopted in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The leadership of the House was reportedly lambasted by some members who did not receive the $100,000 bribe some senior members got, but instead received smaller amounts ranging from $40,ooo and $50,000. These allegations come at a time Transparency International has reported that the corruption index in Nigeria is worsening.

According to Nigerian Tribune the publication that broke the story, Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal has distanced himself from the fiasco.

Tribune reports “the largesse was meant to douse the tension in the House over the issue of crude oil benchmark for 2014 but some members of the House leadership reportedly cornered the largesse by allegedly shortchanging some members, while others did not even benefit at all.

Nigerian Tribune gathered that the largesse for members was to be about $100,000 but some were given $40,000 while others did not get anything at all.

“Trouble started when some members of the House were reportedly confronted with documents by some presidency officials who reportedly opened up on the largesse routed through some members of the House leadership.

“The development forced some key members in the House to demand for executive session to iron out the ugly development.

Nigerian Tribune also learnt that at a meeting that preceded Tuesday’s executive session, a meeting was held between members and the House leadership but the Speaker, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal was said to be absent at the meeting.

“At the meeting, which Nigerian Tribune learnt was tense, reportedly had some members questioning the House Leader, Honourable Mulikat Adeola-Akande who traditionally ought to be the go-between the presidency and the members, but she reportedly told the gathering that she knew nothing about the largesse.”

 

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