*Committees to begin submission of budget defence reports next week
Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu on Thursday said the clamour by Nigerians for reduction of salaries of political office holders should start with the Executive as they get the major percentage of the annual national budget.
Kalu stated this in response to a question during a press briefing at the National Assembly complex in Abuja.
This is as he revealed that the various committees of the House from Wednesday next week will start submission of budget defence reports.
The lawmaker when asked if there’s a possibility for the legislative arm of government to disclose to the citizens how much they earn and the call for reduction of their salary, said the 0.8% of the national budget, given to the legislature was too small, as the institution was struggling and needs to be energized more.
Kalu lamented that Nigerians were being sold the wrong narrative, saying that if there’s need to cut salaries or reduce the cost of governance, it should start with the Executive arm of government.
His words, ”The 0.8% 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 percent you’re talking about takes care of the Senate, people think that the money that comes to the National Assembly is divided by members of the House of Representatives, that’s a wrong narrative being sold there and that’s what Nigerians believe.
”That’s why my office is actually engaging on what’s called info graphics that’s going to be released very soon, that will break it down once members approve it so that you know where every thing goes into and Nigerians will be shocked that people they thought were rich are not able to meet there needs and that’s the truth. It’s high time we start 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%, 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 truth will start coming out, and even the Executive will know there’s need to cut down the expenses.”