The current economic crunch weighing down the government of Nigeria has now hit the National Assembly. Apart from Ali Ndume, the majority leader of the Senate, who confirmed this, our correspondent got further information from Mauritius.
Mauritius is currently hosting the 47th conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) NAIJ.com can confirm that the Nigerian National Assembly is broke as stated by Ali Ndume, the Senate majority leader, on Tuesday, August 24, 2016.
Some members of the National Assembly led to the conference by Ike Ekweremadu Ndume had said the National Assembly was finding it very difficult to meet its financial obligations adding that the situation was troubling. He confirmed that the legislators were not receiving their allowances as at when due and that this was affecting the function of the politicians.
Ndume had said: “I know that the whole country is in financial difficulty, not only the National Assembly. “I have been in the National Assembly since 2003, but things keep getting worse. I think they paid us last month’s salary on the 16th of the following month or thereabout. “It is not only with the National Assembly; some states have not been able to pay salaries for six months, one year. “Some states were even asking their workers to go and farm for two days and work for the other three days in a week.
“Even in the Presidency, they have tightened their belts on their expenditure and so, it’s a general phenomenon in the country. “We used to receive running costs or allowances quarterly but now it is monthly and it doesn’t come as and when due.” The current financial status of the National Assembly was confirmed in Mauritius on Tuesday as NAIJ.com learnt that members of the national legislative chambers sponsored themselves to the on-going Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference.
The delegation, which had Femi Gbajabiamila, the leader of the House of Representatives, was led by the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu. One of the members (name-withheld) told NAIJ.com in Mauritius that the situation was very critical and that the members from the National Assembly were forced to spend their money to the conference that is supposed to be funded by the legislature. According to him, this is the first time such development would occur at the National Assembly.
Nigeria is currently reeling in economic crisis with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration continually attacking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of destroying the country, over one year after former President Goodluck Jonathan left office. On its part, the PDP recently replied the president and his handlers, saying their continued attacks on the PDP at a time the country yearned for true governance, showed that Buhari does not have the capacity to govern the country.
The National Assembly has also been accused of habouring corrupt politicians, but Ndume has denied this. Hear him: “If the National Assembly is so corrupt and you can make much money, then tell me one National Assembly member that is living in luxury after leaving office.
“Some of my colleagues who lost out in the 2015 election are struggling to pay their children’s school fees; some of them are even struggling to take care of their health. “If the National Assembly was where you come and make a lot of money, how come one year after leaving you cannot meet your basic needs?”