Posted by News Express | 24 July 2016 | 2,096 times
The anger, seething in the National Assembly against the presidency over its failure to disburse constituency projects funds to members of the national legislators, may soon snowball into an open confrontation between the legislature and the executive.
Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, confirmed that anger is brewing in the House over the unwillingness of the executive to release fund for National Assembly members’ constituency projects.
Asked whether the House members are agitated over the fact that fund for the execution of their constituency projects has not been released by the executive, he said: “It is actually true. I am a member of the 8th Assembly. We are happy with the President who has graciously approved constituency projects to us. But it is one thing to approve and another thing to implement. All of us have given out our constituency projects, depending on what individual legislator needs in his constituency. We have submitted and it has been approved in our budget, but as I talk to you, no fund has been released in respect to constituency projects. In fact what we even hear from highly placed government functionary is that constituency projects will not be implemented.”
Namdas faulted the position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, to the effect that the federal government has no money for the lawmakers’ constituency projects, noting: “This is not the best of statements, because budget is a law; you cannot choose which part of the law to implement and which part not to implement.
“It is not their duty. That is why you have to assent. If the president does not like constituency projects, it is the president that will refuse to assent and he will give reasons for not assenting, but you cannot assent to a law and then start prioritising on the areas you think you will implement in the law. No! For somebody to say we will not implement constituency projects is a disaster.”
Lawal had recently disclosed that the federal government cannot fund the constitutional projects due to paucity of funds, prompting an angered Senate to summon him for further clarifications.
The SGF stood his ground that the government cannot fund the constituency projects of federal lawmakers given the fact its revenue has dropped by about 50 to 60 per cent this year.
•Excerpted from a LEADERSHIP Sunday report. Photo shows Hon. Namdas.
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