Executives must reduce cost of governance before the legislature – Reps

The National Assembly has said agitations for a reduction in the cost of governance of the country should pay more attention to the executive arm of the Federal Government which takes the significant majority of the nation’s budget annually.

The House of Representatives expressly stated that the executive and not the legislature should reduce its costs, noting that the legislature gets less than one per cent of the allocations in the national budget.

A spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, stated this in Abuja on Thursday, while answering questions from journalists during his weekly media briefing.

The National Assembly had a budget of N139.5bn in 2018, N125bn in 2019 and is currently spending N128bn for 2020, while N125bn had been proposed for it in the N13.08tn 2021 Appropriation Bill currently before the parliament, according to PUNCH.

Kalu was asked about the public perception of the cost of running the current bi-cameral National Assembly and the remuneration of its members.

Responding, he said, “Since you have been following up with this budget defence, have you taken time to look at the amount that is going to the nominal rolls? Have you taken time to do an analysis of what is being paid to sustain the executive arm? So, to your question, if the cost of governance is going to be reduced, it should not be from the legislative arm because it occupies 0.8 per cent of the entire budget. And the question has always been: why is it that Nigerians are leaving 99.02 per cent?

“The truth remains that if the cost of governance must be reduced, it is on the executive. I am not mincing words. Look at the nominal rolls, you will see strange things happening there. So, if we really want to clean our house, it starts with the executive. I want to challenge Nigerians to start looking at the executive and stop looking in the wrong direction.”

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