Nigerians’ll decide if NASS is broke when you publish details of salaries, allowances – SERAP tackles lawmakers
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has challenged the National Assembly to publish details of the salaries and allowances of members if they must convince Nigerians that the institution is truly “broke”.
The civil society organisation stated this in a Wednesday tweet.
Recall that Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu stated during a last Thursday press briefing that the National Assembly was broke.
He was responding to a question on whether the House reduced the number of days for plenary in a week from three to two days to save costs.
“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 for them to do their job. 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 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. 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. At the moment, it is a weak budget and that is the truth,” Kalu said.
Reacting, SERAP said that the lawmakers would never be able to convince Nigerians that the National Assembly is broke until they unravel the secrecy surrounding their earnings.
SERAP tagged the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Representatives in its tweet.
The tweet read, “A spokesman for @HouseNGR says the National Assembly is broke and that the N128bn @nassnigeria budget is inadequate.
“That’s why @nassnigeria should publish details of their monthly salaries and allowances and let Nigerians decide if they’re truly broke. @DrAhmadLawan @femigbaja”