We Are Broke, House Of Reps Calls For Increased Allocation

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The House of Representatives says it is broke and unable to perform its constitutional mandate effectively.

Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), spokesman of the lower legislative chamber, said this in an interactive session with journalists on Thursday.

He called for the budget allocation of the house to be increased from the current N128 billion.

“Yes, the house is broke. I have said it before and I am saying it again and I am not afraid of saying it.

“This is the fact until Nigerians believe that the appropriation that was made for the running of the National Assembly, which was done when the exchange rate of naira to the dollar was 180 is less now than what it used to be.
“The dollar equivalent 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.

“Why are you afraid to raise the budget of the National Assembly that will enable us to conduct our services efficiently and effectively,” he said.

He added that lawmakers appropriate for agencies to run effectively, but the poor budget of the parliament is a disservice to Nigerians.

According to him, the N128 billion appropriated for the National Assembly was divided among all the agencies in the parliament about 6,000 members of staff and lawmakers aides.

Kalu argued that legislators needed professional experts to work with them to produce laws and motion that would address the needs of the people.

He said, “If you go to U.S., you see professors who are consulting and working directly with members of parliament.”

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