Some members of the house of representatives have accused the leadership of the house under Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, of shrouding expenditures of the lower legislative chamber in mystery.
In an advertorial placed in Tuesday edition of PUNCH, the lawmakers said the green chamber ought to be the vanguard for transparency in the country, but the case under Dogara is different.
“In this period when Nigerians are yearning for change and better governance, we believe that the house under the speaker, Yakubu Dogara, should be at the vanguard of the drive for transparency in the country, but is this the situation now?” the lawmakers under the banner of ‘Concerned Members of the House of Representatives, asked.
“We have observed so far that the answer is a big no, as we have seen in the house that most expenditures under the leadership of Dogara are shrouded in mystery.”
They said that majority of the legislators do not know what is budgeted for running the house.
“Members do not receive the house of representatives internal budget from the speaker for their consideration and approval,” the legislators said.
“Members are also not briefed on the amount utilised for the administration of the house; like what is spent on facility maintenance, the number and the remuneration of SAs (special advisers)/SSAs senior special assistants), whereas members are also aware of the number of SAs/SSAs of the president when he presents their number of approval.
“Committee utility vehicles are only provided to a select few, while we know that at the beginning of this 8th house, the leadership had set aside N1.2bn towards the purchase of these vehicles and the same was provided for in 2016. Please where is the N2.4bn?
“Funding for committee assignments like public hearing is epileptic and haphazard.”
They also alleged that some standing committees were sidelined in favour of ad hoc committees.
When TheCable contacted Turaki Hassan, Dogara’s spokesman, to react to the allegations, he said had not seen them, but that he will do so when he sees the statement.
Abdulmumin Jibrin, former chairman of the appropriation committee of the house, who is currently on suspension, had alleged funds used in running of the house were diverted.