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EXTRA: Niger assembly halts debate over absence of speaker’s photo in 2022 budget document

EXTRA: Niger assembly halts debate over absence of speaker’s photo in 2022 budget document
November 24
17:53 2021

The Niger state house of assembly has stepped down debate on the 2022 budget due to the absence of the speaker’s photograph in the document.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Ahmed Marafa, lawmaker representing Chanchaga, and supported by Ahmad Bello from Agwara during plenary on Wednesday.

Moving the motion, Marafa said the nature of the budget document presented to the house by the state governor showed “lack of respect” for the legislature.

The governor had presented the proposed budget to the house on November 5.

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According to Marafa, it is out of place for the budget document to carry the photograph of Abubakar Sani-Bello, governor of the state, without that of the speaker.

“A lot of members observed while trying to consider the budget that the document only contained the photograph of the governor without that of the speaker,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“Courtesy demands that the picture of the speaker should also appear in the document as part of respect for the legislature.

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“By doing so, it shows signs of disrespect to the leadership of this honourable house.”

The lawmaker also said the budget document was produced by the office of the chief of staff to the governor, instead of the state’s printing press.

He said the law only permitted government agencies to print and produce such documents.

“We are not out to witch-hunt anyone,” he added.

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He, however, dismissed insinuations that the lawmakers are at loggerhead with the executive, adding that the stepping-down of debate on the budget is to ensure that things are done in the right way.

Reacting, Abdullahi Bawa, speaker of the house, said the debate on the budget should be stepped down until the mistake was corrected.

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