House of Reps wants low cost of governance to begin with executive

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*Gbajabiamila

As the high cost of governance becomes an issue among Nigerians, the House of Representatives yesterday described as “misdirected” the calls for reduction of salaries of federal lawmakers and cost of governance.

Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, spokesman for the House, Mr. Benjamin Kalu, contended that since the executive manages 99.902 per cent of the national budget, the calls should be directed at that arm of government and not the national assembly which receives a paltry 0.8 percent.

Kalu who briefed the media on the activities of the House during the week stated that the national assembly was struggling and therefore needed to be energised as the 0.8 percent was too small.

He also disclosed that the various committees of House would from next Wednesday start the submission of budget defence reports.

“The 0.8 per cent of the national budget for the National Assembly is not enough to run the institution. If you want to cut salaries, expenses, cost of governance, start it from the executive. That’s the truth because the 0.8 per cent you’re talking about takes care of the senate and house.

“People think that the money that comes to the National Assembly is divided by members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. That’s a wrong narrative being sold and that’s what Nigerians believe.

”That’s why my office is actually engaging in what’s called infographics that are going to be released very soon.  That will break it down once members approve it so that you know where everything goes into.

“Nigerians will be shocked that people they thought were rich are not able to meet their needs and that’s the truth. It’s high time we started at the 99.902 percent of the national budget and stop focusing on the 0.8 percent of the National Assembly.’

“Nigerians are not focusing on that rather they’ve been conditioned to focus on the 0.8 percent. Is that not deceitful? Nigerians need to change their focus and find out what’s happening to that 99.902 percent.

“Once we do that, you will see the truth will start coming out, and even the executive will know there’s need to cut down their expenses,” he said.

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