N70b is for repairs, furniture, not cash to lawmakers—Senate

Abuja—Yemi Adaramodu, spokesperson of the senate, says no member of the national assembly will receive any money from the N70 billion budgeted to “support their working conditions,” TheCable reports.

In a statement on Sunday, Adaramodu said the fund is for the purchase of furniture and to carry out repairs in lawmakers’ offices.

On Thursday, both chambers of the national assembly earmarked N70 billion for themselves in an amendment to the 2022 supplementary budget.

Many Nigerians criticised the appropriation owing to the fact that President Bola Tinubu sought and got approval to borrow $800 million to be distributed N8,000 each for 12 million households for six months in a bid to cushion the removal of subsidy on petroleum motor spirit (PMS).

The senate spokesperson said the claims that the budget was “padded” to accommodate the N70 billion are false, adding that the lawmakers only fulfilled their constitutional duty.

“Suffice to say that the passage is part of the absolute constitutional duty of the senate,” he said.

“We would therefore, not wish to join issues with the mischief and misrepresentation that a portion of the just passed Amendment Act that appropriated N70 billion naira was a ‘gift’ to the legislators.

“A visit to the suites, offices and the general structures of the National Assembly Complex would reveal a yawn and the need for exigent attention. Many senators had to bring their chairs, tables and electronics and in many cases, do sundry repairs.

“The much-debated allocation will not be paid to any legislator. This will be managed by the national assembly bureaucracy. It’s pertinent to also note that the national assembly complex does not house only the legislators.

“There are thousands of workers and service providers whose working environment needs a face-lift, and/with necessary tools.

“Since the assembly complex is not owned by legislators who are merely political birds of passage, such allocation cannot be termed by anyone as a palliative to the legislators.

“The alleged padding of the palliative budget by the national assembly only exists in the minds of those who are all out to discredit the 10th assembly. There is nothing like padding as being alleged in some misinformed media outfits.”

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