The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, said the annual budget of the National Assembly (NASS) has been stagnant for 13 years despite inflation and the attendant consequences.
Abbas said notwithstanding, the expenditure of the federal legislature had gone up within the period, but without commensurate budgetary provisions to back it up.
He made the assertion yesterday in Abuja when a delegation from the African Business Roundtable visited him.
The speaker told the delegation that, “Our budget has been stagnant for 13 years, but our expenditure has gone up within the period. In fact, at some points, the National Assembly budget came down from what it used to be in 2011.”
The delegation was led by the executive director (West Africa) of the group, Mr. Dotun Ajayi.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Musa Krishi, the speaker said the 10th House created over 60 parliamentary friendship committees to enhance the relationship between the House and other parliaments across the world.
He said the friendship committees needed the support from outside to function efficiently, noting that the House would support any cause that would lead to enhanced relationships with other parliaments.
“I want to assure you that we’ll engage more with you. This meeting will be a historic one which will be a point of reference in the future. We will pursue it with all the energy we have,” Abbas said.
Earlier, Ajayi said the recent coup in Niger Republic brought a new dimension to the engagements between some European countries and West Africa.
He said Niger has problems with only France in Europe, whereas the French government was planning to cut all forms of assistance to West Africa due to the coup.
“The president has been playing some roles behind the scene on this. The parliament needs to be seen to work with him on this. Our parliament should engage the French Parliament and the EU, he said.”
Ajayi said the EU has set aside 20 billion Euros for sub-Saharan Africa, noting, “We want to see a situation where your engagement increases what comes to Nigeria.”