A statement credited to the Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), that the lower legislative chambers was broke and could no longer perform its constitutional responsibilities has caused a stir among Nigerians who view the statement as insensitive and a joke.
Benjamin Kalu made the statement when he spoke with journalists on Thursday in Abuja.
The House of Rep member noted that the budget of the National Assembly should be reviewed upward to enable it cope with the situation.
How Much Is Allocated To The National Assembly?
In the 2021 Budget, a total of N128 billion was appropriated for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The two chambers of the National Assembly were also allocated N125 billion in the 2020 Budget.
In a country where the health and education sectors did not get up to N100b collectively, the Abia representative still has a lot to say, “Yes, the House is broke. I have said it before and I am saying it again and I am not afraid of saying it.
“This is the fact. Until Nigerians believe that the appropriation that was made for the running of the National Assembly which was done when the exchange rate of naira to dollar was 180 is less now than what it used to be.
The lawmaker attributed the lack of funds to the dollar rate in the foreign exchange market. “The dollar equivalent today has gone up to over N400, the purchasing power of the budget as it is now, is weaker than it was 10 years ago,” he said.