Reps To Nigerians: Ask Executive Arm To Reduce Cost Of Governance

In apparent reaction to the backlash that has continued to trail the humongous amount of money paid to political office holders and clamour to reduce the cost of governance, the House of Representatives has asked Nigerians to pressure the Executive arm of government to slash their salaries and allowances.

The House contended that the Executive arm gulps the largest chunk of the national annual budget of 99.902%, leaving the entire legislature with a paltry 0.8 per cent.

At present, Nigeria runs a bicameral legislature where the National Assembly is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The two Chambers have a total of 469 elected members, comprising 109 members in the Senate and 360 in the House.

The Executive, considered as the second arm of government, next to the Judiciary, is made up of the Presidency and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, with all their appurtenances and paraphernalia of office which feed on the national budget.

Briefing journalists at the National Assembly complex yesterday, spokesman of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, said the clamour by Nigerians for lawmakers to reduce their salaries was rather misplaced.

Agreeing that the cost of governance should be whittled down and salaries of political office holders reduced, Kalu said the agitation should be directed to the Executive arm as they get the major percentage of the annual income.

The charge was a response that emanated from a question of whether it was not yet time for political office holders to slash their salaries, following the harsh economic realities of the moment. Kalu would not also respond to a direct question of exactly how much the lawmakers earned as salaries when asked.

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